In 2012, in a key party leadership speech, China vowed to work with international society to “actively respond” to climate change. Five years on, president Xi Jinping just told China that it is in the “driving seat” when it comes to preserving the planet for future generations.
Speaking at the opening session of the 19th Communist Party congress on Wednesday (Oct. 18), Xi turned early in his remarks to “ecological civilization.” He noted that China had made major efforts to reduce consumption and save resources, and that these steps were paying off domestically—and setting an example globally.
“Taking a driving seat in international cooperation to respond to climate change, China has become an important participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global endeavor for ecological civilization,” said Xi, about 15 minutes into the start of a three-hour-plus speech known as a “work report.” (The remarks were accompanied by simultaneous English translation on the …