The FINANCIAL -- “Top ten” lists have long been a staple of comedy monologues but, as pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in China’s rapidly industrializing economy are no laughing matter, Chinese businesses today produced a serious list of enterprise-activated solutions.
The 2015 Caring for Climate Summit in Beijing included several hundred business leaders, academicians and government officials, as well Mr. Rae Kwon Chung, Principal Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General on Climate Change, and representatives of the United Nations Global Compact -- the world’s largest corporate sustainability network, according to United Nations.
Discussions included presentations on new actions by enterprises in a country that already is the world’s largest investor in wind turbines, solar panels and other clean or renewable energy sources:
The idea of building homes in a similar fashion to cars, for instance, is being taken up by the Baosteel Group, with expectations that CO2 emissions can be reduced by 20 per cent within the life cycle of a building, through green production and promotion of steel-structure houses. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China – one of the “big four” commercial banks – is integrating the concept of green credit into various banking services, while dealing with excess capacity contradictions by means of financial instruments. A Sinopec campaign is underway to improve energy efficiency by 100 per cent by 2025, equivalent to eliminating 81 million tons of CO2 emissions, and to planting 940 million trees.
Professor C.C. Chan, of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the founding president of the World Electric Vehicles Association, assessed that rapid progress in the development of electric vehicles may allow China to become the world leader in this field.
Organized primarily by the Global Compact China Network, the Beijing meeting comes only a week after 193 governments meeting in Ethiopia at a head-of-state level at a finance summit called for “unlocking the transformative potential of people and the private sector” to revolutionize production and consumption patterns and to support sustainable development.
The third annual Beijing summit is affiliated with the global “Caring for Climate” network, sponsored by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, the UN Environment Programme and the UN Global Compact. Roughly half of the approximately 400 corporations committed to “Caring for Climate” are based in developing, emerging market and transition countries – nations likely to be pivotal in global climate change talks in Paris in December.
"To adequately combat climate challenge, collective action at the global and local levels is a prerequisite. International organizations, local and national governments, civil society and business must all pull together,” UN Global Compact Deputy Executive Director Gavin Power told participants in Beijing.
Rounding out the list of top ten initiatives by Chinese enterprises:
The State Grid Corporation is integrating the ultra high voltage, smart grid and clean Energy, and promoting an “Internet of Global Energy” system.
Paper company APP launched the biggest photovoltaic power generation project in history, empowering eight plants with a generating capacity of 200 million kwh to produce annual savings of 80,000 tons of coal and 30 million tons of carbon emissions.
Sinochem Corporation invested 23 billion yuan in the world’s most advanced refinery waste treatment technology in the city of Quanzhou.
China Huaneng Group established a carbon asset management company within the Group.
Also cited were Autodesk Software China, Ltd., Hainan Airlines and China National Offshore Oil Corporation.
Established in 2011, the Global Compact Network China currently has around 300 Chinese enterprise members.