China, credible partner for the preservation of the environment ?


On Monday in Xian, the first stop on the French President’s trip to China, Emmanuel Macron welcomed China’s new awareness. “Who would have imagined a few years ago that China would be a global driving force” in the area of the environment, he stressed.

Following a string of ecological scandals, China has decided to tackle the environmental issue. The country is closing its coal-fired power plants one by one, although it remains involved in building coal-fired power plants around the world… However, many actors and experts consider China’s commitment to the fight against political change real and sustainable. One of these is Nicolas Roques, Biotope International Development Coordinator. Since 2012, he has been working in China to restore Wolong Lake, in the province of Liaoning. “Beijing has no choice but to engage in the fight against global warming in the light of the public health and economic development issues posed by air pollution and the deterioration of water resources”, he opined.

In this context, Emmanuel Macron’s plan for a broad France-Europe-China climate alliance “might make sense”, continued Nicolas Roques. “China has a lot to gain. European companies have acquired real know-how in ecological engineering that China clearly does not currently have. We see this at Biotope, with respect to the management of water resources and ecosystems. It is also true for other sectors like transportation, energy, the evolution of the Chinese regulatory framework…”.

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This echoes Xavier Rufray’s statements on the France Inter 8 AM news on the same day. He was part of the presidential cortege on Wednesday. Biotope’s president Frédéric Melki also spoke about this in an interview in November : “Relever le défi de l’éco-civilisation chinoise“.

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