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Roundtable Vision 2050: Championing Deep Decarbonization and High-Quality Development in China’s Key Economic Regions

To meet the temperature goal set by the 2015 Paris Agreement, global greenhouse emissions must fall to net zero by the end of this century. Therefore, countries around the world must take more ambitious and urgent actions to decarbonize. Experience of developed countries shows that deep decarbonization and high-level economic development can be achieved at the same time. Low-carbon development is likely to become the new driver for economic growth. China is shifting from high-speed growth to high-quality growth. Therefore, it needs more than ever to boost the support of strong and sustained scientific and technological innovation and improve economic and industrial structure. It also needs to accelerate the building of a strong modernized country through implementing the national strategy of regional coordinated development and other new measures. Yangtze River Delta Integration, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Development and Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Coordinated Development have been upgraded into three national strategies. Coordinated development in the three economic circles will allow optimal element allocation, build platforms for resource sharing, promote flow of tech talents, foster new drivers of innovation and achieve low-carbon development.

On June 2nd, three days before the 2019 World Environment Day, the World Resources Institute (WRI) hosted a roundtable focusing on the abovementioned issues in Hangzhou, and officially launched the Vision 2050 project. The forum focused on regional coordinated economic development and industrial transformation and upgrading, and facilitated in-depth discussions on key policy issues including high-quality economic development and deep decarbonization in the future, aiming to explore a path for China to achieve green, low carbon and coordinated economic development. Under the framework of Vision 2050, WRI will focus on three research areas, namely, 2050 climate strategy, industrial upgrading & transformation, and coordinated economic & environmental development. This project will review and analyze China's mid and long-term climate strategies, and potential social, economic and environmental opportunities and challenges, and thus align with the national target of achieving high quality and sustainable development. Zhejiang is one of the important cradles of Xi Jinping Thought on Ecology, and the birth place of the theory "clear waters and green mountains are as valuable as mountains of gold and silver." Zhejiang has also made big achievements in promoting high-quality development through ecological progress. Therefore, Phase One of the Vision 2050 project will focus on partnership with Zhejiang and fully leverage the important guiding role of Zhejiang in the Yangtze River Delta Integration, in order to support national 2050 mid and long-term climate targets and strategies through the development path of "Beautiful Zhejiang", and make Zhejiang a model of transformation for other provinces and cities to follow.

This event was jointly hosted by WRI, the Institution of Green Economy of Counsellors' Office of the State Council, National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC) and Zhejiang Economic Information Center. Leaders and partners including Andrew Steer, WRI President and CEO, HE Jiankun, Director of the Academic Commission of Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development of Tsinghua University, and ZHOU Huafu, Director of Zhejiang Development and Planning Institute, delivered keynote speeches. ZHOU Dadi, former Director General of the Energy Research Institute of NDRC, LI Junfeng, Founding Director of NCSC, Vicky Pollard, First Counsellor on Environment and Climate Change of the EU Delegations to China, CAO Dong, Director of Chief Engineer Office of Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, ZHANG Jiutian, Assistant Director of the Institution of Green Economy of Counsellors' Office of the State Council, WANG Yan, Deputy Director of Zhejiang Economic Information Center, DU Ping, Center Director of Zhejiang Provincial Development and Reform Research Institute, LIN Le, Founder and CEO of Neng Lian Tech Ltd., Manish Bapna, WRI Global Executive Vice President and Managing Director, and FANG Li, Chief Representative of WRI Beijing Office, witnessed the launch of Vision 2050 at the Roundtable and had in-depth discussions.

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