“The Chinese government is determined to tackle smog and environmental pollution as a whole”, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang assured reporters, although he admitted that the pace of progress had not quite lived up to expectations.
In 2014, Beijing’s highest legislative body, the National People’s Congress, declared war on pollution and stated that among its main goals was the transformation of China into a beautiful country with an ecologically pristine environment. This commitment led to substantial investments in renewable energies as well as energy and water conservation projects. In addition, more stringent legislation was passed aimed at reducing toxic emissions.
Then at the end of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in November, President Xi Jinping finalized an agreement with Barack Obama to strengthen bilateral cooperation between China and the US on the subject of climate change. Together they signed a document that has paved paved the way for an international agreement that would reflect “the principle of shared but differentiated responsibility”.