Amb. Wu Peng, Permanent Representative of China to the UNEP, attended the “Planet Unplugged” session entitled “World Environment Day 2019：Inspiring the world to Beat Air Pollution” on May 24th, giving a briefing on China’s progress and experience in tackling air pollution since 2013. UNEP Acting Executive Director Joyce Msuya, Director of the Information Office and other UNEP senior officials, and Deputy Permanent Representative of China to UNEP Xia Yingxian were present at the seminar. The seminar was chaired by Ms.Ligia Noronha, Director of Economy Division of UNEP
Amb. Wu thanked the UNEP for inviting him to attend the seminar, and briefed the audience on the progress China has made in tackling air pollution by sharing vivid cases of Shenzhen in developing electric vehicle public transportation, Hebei Wen’an in cleaning up pollution factories, and Beijing in restoring blue skies. He pointed out that China has made great achievements over the past years in tackling air pollution, but the Chinese government is fully aware that there is still a long way to go. He said that China values this opportunity of being the host of World Environment Day 2019, and will work together with the UNEP to ensure the success of related events.
Amb. Wu exchanged views with the audience after the presentation. He stressed that developing countries should avoid the old path of “pollution first, treatment later”, and make every effort to protect the environment for the sake of the health of the people, which requires political determination and commitment of resources. He said that China is willing to take the opportunity of hosting the World Environment Day to share its experiences, so as to join hands with others to tackle global pollution.
Director Msuya shared the personal experience of herself and her family working in Beijing, echoing what Amb. Wu has said. She pointed out that the PM2.5 intensity in Beijing dropped by 43% in 2018 in comparison to 2013, which offers an important yardstick for other developing countries. She expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for hosting 2019 World Environment Day, expecting China to contribute more to the world in tackling air pollution.
“Planet Unplugged” is a series of events held by the UNEP, aimed at inviting leading experts, scholars, and government officials on environment to jointly explore hot-spot environmental issues. Ambassadors from Columbia and Costa Rica, officials from the UNEP and other UN offices in Nairobi, and representatives of other international organizations were present at the seminar. Amb. Wu’s comprehensive presentation and frank response to questions left the audience a deep impression.