Minister Xie Zhenhua
Minister Xie Zhenhua during a press briefing. Photo source: IISD


Individual achievement

Nominated for:

Stewarding climate and clean air policy in China and playing a key role in leading the Paris Agreement’s entry into force


Minister XIE Zhenhua’s leadership and efforts to promote China’s domestic efforts to combat climate change and clean China’s air and his success in leading the negotiation of the Paris Agreement place him among the world’s most influential champions in the fight against climate change. Minister Xie’s more recent support of multilateral efforts to mitigate climate change at the second meeting of the Ministerial on Climate Action underscores the importance of his continued engagement.

Minister Xie has led the Chinese delegation to the United Nations Climate Conferences since 2007, where he has helped facilitate a series of successful multilateral climate change negotiations.

Minister Xie’s efforts during the Xi Jinping and Obama administrations helped lead to the landmark agreement between China and the United States promising joint efforts to curb carbon emissions. Under Minister Xie’s guidance, the Chinese negotiation team has also succeeded in fulfilling the vision of more fulsome participation and contribution to the multilateral climate processes, including stronger cooperation with key parties leading to the adoption and entry into force of the Paris Agreement. Minister Xie has also promoted regional and bilateral cooperation in green and low-carbon development.

Domestically, Minister Xie served as Minister of Environmental Protection (now Ministry of Ecology and Environment) and Minister-level Vice Chairman at the National Development and Reform Commission. In these roles, he actively pushed for resource conservation, clean air and low-carbon development.

Minister Xie is currently China’s Special Envoy on Climate Change and the Deputy Director of the Committee on Population, Resources and Environment of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). In these roles, Minister Xie’s high-profile activities raise climate awareness among Chinese citizens and build upon national and global commitments to fight climate change.

Minister Xie also helped establish the Tsinghua University “Global Climate Change and Green Development” Fund to support international collaboration with China.

In a November 2017 speech, at the United Nation’s annual climate change meeting (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, Minister Xie told gathered leaders that “China is ready to play the role, all along, as a participant and contributor in global climate governance, sustainable development, as well as a guardian of multilateral processes.”

Minister Xie’s role and advocacy related to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, such as the Paris Agreement, has strengthened China’s involvement in these global pacts. Minister Xie has also strengthened environmental multilateralism at a time when such cooperation is critical to further and faster achievements.

Back to Top