Opening Remarks by Ms Beate Trankmann at the Inception Workshop for the Facilitating Cleaner and Energy Efficient Phosphate Chemicals Industry in China Project

March 27, 2023

Ms Beate Trankmann delivers remarks at the launch of the PhosChemEE project







非常高兴磷化工产业链节能与绿色低碳提升项目在今天正式启动了. It’s a pleasure to be kicking off today’s inception workshop for the PhosChemEE project and great to move forward after the approval by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) last year.

As the climate emergency is racing on, we need to hit the ground running. 

Here in China we are all too aware of its effects, from devastating floods to searing heatwaves. In 2022 alone, extreme weather and natural disasters in China led to losses of 209 billion RMB and affecting 107 million people [1].

Our world is in crisis. We must keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees alive if we are to have any chance of building a livable planet for future generations. 

But right now, we are not doing enough. Instead, we’re on track to potentially exceed 3 degrees of warming – more than double the 1.5 degrees Paris Agreement target. 

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released just this week, states that if we act now and take more ambitious action “we can still secure a livable sustainable future for all” [2].

It is therefore critical that we halve global carbon emissions by 2030. This will require stronger international cooperation to ramp up finance, technology transfers and capacity-building among all countries to meet these goals. Currently we have a long way to go – based on current policies instead of halving our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 we are currently expected to increase them by 10% [3]

China’s commitment to building a greener and more sustainable economy is critical in supporting global efforts to tackle the climate crisis. We welcome the government’s efforts to embed low-carbon development across its policies, to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve its dual carbon goals of peaking emissions before 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality before 2060. 

Decarbonizing industrial processes is an essential part of building a low-carbon, future-proof economy. In particular, closing the energy efficiency gap holds the key to reducing carbon footprints and accelerating a green transition in energy-intensive industries.

Industrial phosphates - as a key component in the production of fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, high-tech products and more - are an integral and growing part of the modern global economy. However, the mining of phosphate rock, the refining of phosphate chemicals and the inefficient use of industry by-products are also a key source of carbon emissions and energy wastage. 

China is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of phosphate chemical products. In 2019 alone, its phosphate chemicals production resulted in 59 million tons of CO2 emissions, roughly equivalent to 12.7 million cars.

Against this background, it is vital to minimize the environmental impact and consumption of energy-intensive industries like the phosphate chemical sector. And this is indeed entirely possible!

The PhosChemEE project we are launching today aims to help the industry become cleaner and more energy efficient by addressing critical barriers.  This includes developing policies and standards for re-utilizing by-products building on industry best practices while also expanding the use of key low-carbon technologies.

Through this project we also have an opportunity to contribute to multiple Sustainable Development Goals – the 17 goals to end poverty and protect our planet by 2030.  

For example to SDG 8: decent work and economic growth. At the demonstration sites in Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou and Hubei, the project will aim to help the phosphate sector be more competitive and market ready - especially SMEs - and create green and sustainable jobs. These locations along the Yangtze River economic belt were selected to support their ecological restoration, while also advancing economic growth. 

Ensuring that women are not left behind during the phosphate chemical industry’s green transition is also an important objective. By empowering women through skills training and education, the project will improve their professional competitiveness and support women to gain jobs in the industry – a traditionally-male dominated sector. 

At UNDP we are committed to supporting all stakeholders navigate the journey towards a low-carbon economy and build a more sustainable and inclusive future. We stand ready to continue working together to accelerate the shared vision of a net-zero world and advance the aims of the global climate agenda.

By empowering women through skills training and education, the project will improve their professional competitiveness and support women to gain jobs in the industry – a traditionally-male dominated sector.
Beate Trankmann, Resident Representative, UNDP China

I’d like to close by expressing my sincere thanks to the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Natural Resources, the GEF and all our partners for embarking on this journey with UNDP – we appreciate your commitment to addressing the climate crisis and taking clear steps to enact solutions that can make a real difference.

I’ll end here by quoting a famous Chinese proverb: 一年之计在于春 (the whole year’s work depends on a good start in spring).

I wish you all a productive and fruitful workshop today. 

Xie Xie!



[3] According to the UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2022, we currently stand at 52 GTCO2e of greenhouse gases. Instead of being on track to halve this by 50% by 2030, current policies are leading us to 58 GTCO2e.