—Address by CCIEE Chairman Mr. Zeng Peiyan on the International Cooperative Conference on Green Economy and Climate Change
(May 7, 2010)
Honorable guests, ladies, gentlemen and friends:
It is a bright and beautiful day in Spring in May of Beijing, in such a good season, I myself, on behalf of the organizer of this conference–China Center for International Economic Exchanges, give all of you a warm welcome for participating in “International Cooperative Conference on Green Economy and Climate Change”.
In the world today, the climate change issue has become a challenge commonly faced by the humanity. In last thirty years, from Stockholm to Rio de Janeiro, from Kyoto to Bali and again to Copenhagen, the international community has held a series of important meetings, concluded broad consensus on the issue of protecting global environment and dealing with climate change, and taken a series of effective actions. However, we also noted that, the Copenhagen Conference held last year did not conclude a negotiation for the Bali Road Map, parties could not conclude agreement on some major issues. There was misunderstanding between each other, which even affected the mutual trust among parties. At the end of this year, a conference will be held in Cancun, Mexico, and there will still be uncertainty about the conclusion of consensus for some key issues by countries.
Historical experience tells us that, resolving international differences cannot be separated from effective communication and exchanges, and there is no exception for the issue of international climate cooperation. Aside from intergovernmental negotiations, a non-governmental communication channel can also be paved, which is also the original intention for us to initiate this conference. Currently, the pushing of comprehensive, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol and the conclusion of international climate agreement with legally binding force is the common wish of the international community. In this respect, there are many issues to study. Here I make the following several suggestions for discussion by all of you.
First, promote the development and transfer of technologies. In recent years, the new energy and renewable energy technologies made considerable progress, and key technologies dealing with climate change have new breakthroughs. The spread of these technologies will definitely lay a solid foundation for mitigating and adapting to the climate change, providing strong support for establishing a low-carbon economy and low-carbon society. It is a pity that, in terms of global share of technologies dealing with climate change, there is no substantial progress achieved up to now. It is necessary for the international community to strengthen cooperation in terms of development and transfer of related technologies, speed up the negotiation for such core issues as institutional setup, capital arrangement and institutional guarantee, etc. The governments of developed countries should encourage their domestic enterprises to transfer technologies to developing countries by giving benefits and concessions through policy incentives and capital support. The win-win outcome among developer, holder and user of technologies will be realized while protecting the intellectual property rights. Through governmental involvement and market operation, developing countries could access to and afford advanced climate-friendly technologies, thus to improve the global capability of dealing with climate change.
Second, innovate Funding Operation Mechanism. The financial matter has always been troubling the international climate negotiations. The Copenhagen Accord proposed that, developed countries should provide funds to developing countries for their mitigation and adaptation activities. This is a step forward which is positive and constructive and it is worth praising. However, there are still some pending important issues such as how to raise these funds, how to use them and how to establish corresponding management mechanism, which should be researched and considered carefully. We hope that the developed countries could perform their obligations in the Convention, make greater efforts to raise funds and provide new, additional, sufficient and predictable funds. At the same time, establish corresponding mechanisms to guarantee fair and reasonable use of these funds. In terms of funds management, the principle of fairness, transparency and effectiveness shall be embodied, thus to assure the funds acquisition and low management cost. Aside from this, we should continue to explore new methods for market financing, research of how to fully exert the function of carbon market, making funds from private sector and carbon market as the useful complementation for funds provided by developed countries as contracting parties. The three flexible mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol played an important role in the first commitment period. Especially the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has been proven as the most successful win-win emission reduction cooperation mechanism up to now between developed countries and developing countries. The international community should continue to exert the function of mutually beneficial and win-win market mechanisms including the CDM, so as to mobilize the initiative of developed countries and developing countries.
Third, strengthen the construction of adaptation and mitigation ability. Adaptation and mitigation are two aspects of dealing with the challenge of climate change, which should be treated equally and handled on a balanced basis. But currently, the international community does not pay enough attention to the issue of adapting to the climate change. The historical emissions of extensive developing countries are relatively less, they are relatively weak in adapting to the climate change, and it is obviously unfair for them to bear the serious adverse consequences of the climate change. The international community should pay attention to the plight of developing countries, listen to their voices and respect their appeals, and closely combine the coping with climate change to the promoting of the development of developing countries, improvement of the internal development momentum and the ability of sustainable development. Developed countries should play a greater role in helping developing countries to improve the ability of adapting to the climate change and reducing the hazards of climate change. Developing countries should, under the support of developed countries, intensify the monitoring, warning, forecast and scientific prevention for various extreme weather and climate events; speed up the perfection of statistics and examination system for greenhouse gas emission, and enhance the comprehensive capacity for dealing with climate change.
Fourth, expand the social participation. In terms of dealing with climate change, we usually see the negotiations and consultations conducted by the intergovernmental international organizations, but it is far from enough if we only rely on the governmental actions. Protecting the climate is to protect the common interests of the humankind, which cannot be separated from extensive participation and joint action by enterprises, general public and various social organizations. Enterprises as the main part of greenhouse gas emissions should firstly undertake corresponding responsibility, transform conventional production and design ideas, actively utilize green production means, develop green technologies and promote green products, promote energy conservation and control the greenhouse gas emission. The general public bears the negative impact of climate change, and it is also the most important reason causing the climate change. In order to change the working and consumption habits of the general public which are formed in a long term, the relatively effective approach is to attract them to participate in the green development and actions dealing with climate change, establish the ideas of green production and green consumption through publicity and education, and encourage them to employ such ideas in the production and life consciously. Various non-governmental organizations, educational institutions and the public media should also exert their advantages and influence, playing a greater role in such respects as participation in policy making, influencing corporate behavior and educating the general public.
Fifth, promote the green economy recovery and sustainable development. The law of cyclical fluctuations of the world economy tells us that, the economic crisis will ultimately pass, and the recovery and prosperity will eventually come. While the climate change is a more permanent global issue compared with the financial crisis, and the difficulty of responding to it is greater than the financial crisis. Of course, what the financial crisis brings is not all disasters, there are also opportunities. Countries could grasp the opportunity for economic recovery in the post-crisis era, transform the economic development pattern and develop green industries to promote the global economic recovery and further realize the sustainable development.
We suggest that governments of countries should formulate policies and measures conducive to the development of green industries, establish green industry development fund, and put more investment in a low-carbon, energy-saving and recycling economy. Perfect the laws and regulations, combat and strictly investigate various acts having damage to the environment. We also appeal to the international community for learning the successful experience of international cooperation for mitigating such financial crisis, carry out more cooperation and set fewer barriers in developing the green economy and dealing with the climate change, we should dialogue rather than confront, avoid the setting of climate barriers such as carbon tariffs, and achieve the mutually benefits and win-win outcome between developed countries and developing countries.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Copenhagen Conference maintained the “common but differentiated responsibilities”, which is a step forward for the global climate change negotiations. Whether the political consensus concluded in the Copenhagen Accord could form a legally binding document in the Climate Conference in Cancun, Mexico to be held in this year will be the most important anticipation of the international community for the climate cooperation progress. Today we gather in Beijing to jointly discuss the issue of developing green economy and dealing with climate change, a good atmosphere of discussion and exchange is very essential. I suggest that delegates of this conference speak out freely, fully express your concerns; exchange with each other actively and put forward practical solutions; consult with each other and listen to opinions of others, and do more empathy. The climate change issue has far-reaching impact, and different countries have different situations. I believe that, as long as we strengthen communication and mutual trust and clear up doubts based on the spirit of mutual respect and seeking the common ground while putting aside difference, we could certainly conclude more consensuses, creating conditions for the success of next round of international climate negotiations.
This international conference is the effort made by non-governmental think tanks in developing countries for dealing with the issue of climate change, which is also the second channel beyond communication among governments of countries. It is hoped that in the future there could be more such “two-way” communication mechanisms continued by non-governmental institutions. This conference will also conduct discussion and seek cooperation for technologies and policies of low-carbon, new energy and sustainable development. China Center for International Economic Exchanges is willing to contribute more thoughts and wisdom to promote the global green development and international climate cooperation jointly with friends from each country by more open attitude and more dynamic forms.
Wish this conference a complete success! Wish all of you, work and live in Beijing happily!