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2015 China-Europa Forum

《Facing Climate Change: Rethinking Our Global Development Model, Act II》

1 December 2015, Paris

Press release

More than 100 Europeans and Chinese delegates have attended a climate satellite meeting organised jointly by the China-Europa Forum (CEF), the Vanke Group, SEE Conservation, Entreprises pour l’environnement (EpE) and the European Committee of the Regions within the framework of the UN Climate Summit (COP21)in Paris.

“Facing Climate Change: Rethinking Our Global Development Model, Act II”was held at the Climate Generation Area, le Bourget, on December 1. The aim was to contribute to the success of the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21), to enhance mutual exchanges and to find a new governance model in the fight against climate change, as well as to build the China-Europe green development platform in order to promote EU-China business co-operation for achieving a transition to a sustainable society.

The opening session saw addresses by Arab Hoballah, Chief of Sustainable Life styles, Cities and Industry of UNEP; WANG Shi, Chairman of the Board of the Vanke Group, China; Michel Lebrun, former President of the European Committee of the Regions, member of the ENVE Commission and rapporteur on resource-efficient Europe; WANG Zhenyao, Director of the China Philanthropy Research Institute; Claire Tutenuit, General Delegate at Entreprises pour l’environnement (EpE);and Denez l’Hostis, President of France Nature Environment.

Arab Hoballah emphasised his belief that “if governments are serious about sustainable development and looking for responsible actions to find long term solutions for a truly transformative change, the focus should be increasingly on promoting sustainable consumption and production, notably through resource-efficient cities with relevant policies and governance, with adequate market instruments and enabling capacity at all levels”.

He underlined the respective crucial roles of China and Europe in facing climate change challenges. It was through today’s“type of gathering and consultations and related partnerships that we can look for opportunities for solutions”, he said.

WANG Shi spoke of his experience of twice attending the China-Europa Forum, saying: "The role of China’s NGOs and enterprisesis increasingly prominent in the climate change summit. In connecting China and the international community, they have played a very active role.”

Michel Lebrun from the Committee of the Regions stated that communication and cooperation were key. Finding common notions of economic governance was essential, he said. The Common Declaration of today was a big step in this direction and sent an incredibly strong signal to COP negotiators.

WANG Zhenyao pointed out that “a decade ago NGOs, enterprises and thinkers were already having to appeal to governments to maintain the urgency of the fight against climate change. Now, governments, civilian organisations, enterprises and thinkers have formed an active dialogue and cooperation model. This is a turning point for our entire political, economic and social civilisation."

The China-Europa Forum, China Urban Realty Association, Jia Cui Environmental Promotive Center/UNEP, and SEE Conservation then presented their Common Text of proposals for confronting Climate Change.

A panel sessionentitled “Environmental legislation and circular economy for a Transition towards Sustainable Societies” followed. Michel Lebrun, former President of the CoR and rapporteur on resource-efficient Europe, Wang Weidong, supervisor of the 2005 Committee, Pierre Calame, Co-founder of the China-Europa Forum, Deng Feng, Executive Director of the 2005 Committee, and Patrick Schroeder, SCP Expert, SWITCH-Asia Network Facility, shared their views and analyses of how a circular economy could contribute to emission reductions and support the fight against climate change.

Pierre Calame noted that “the dialogue between Chinese and European companies is essential. They play a major role in global production chains and consumption, but international trade agreements, such as the World Trade Organisation, are not at all based on the promotion of sustainable value chains. This is what, collectively, European and Chinese companies should now promote.”

The second awards ceremony of the China-Europe Green Award, initiated by the China-Europa Forum and the China Philanthropy Research Institute, was a highlight of the satellite meeting. The awards aim to encourage cities, companies, institutions and individuals to participate actively in the ecological transition and to create the momentum and material conditions necessary for implementation.They also aim to provide tomorrow’s solutions through sharing knowledge and experiences and technology transfers between Europe and China and relating to the ecological transition.

Chen Yan, Executive President of the China-Europa Forum, and WANG Zhenyao, Director of the China Philanthropy Research Institute, co-chaired the ceremony and announced the list of Champion Cities, Enterprises and Foundations in ecological transition. Michel Rocard, former French Prime Minister, and Paul Trân Van Thinh, President of the China-Europa Forum Association, together presented the awards to the LAO NIU Foundation, SEE Conservation and the Yili Public Welfare Foundation, the three winners present at the satellite meeting.

The founder of the LAO NIU Foundation, NIU Gensheng, said he was delighted to receive this award. “Our foundation has four philanthropic sections. Environmental protection and tree-planting is the largest section and represents 40% of the foundation’s funding. We spent several hundred million yuan to transform fourmillion acres of the Loess Plateau into agreen area, because if the mountain is not green the water may not be clear, if the water is not clear the sky is not blue. In the past we were involved in food and clothing, and now I think it is necessary to look to protection of the environment. Environmental protection is more important than food and clothing."

In association with the satellite meeting a series of "China-EU green platform" activities were held from December 1-5 in Paris and Brussels. These included a business-to-business lunch for European and Chinese enterprises, and field visits to ecology parks and a green energy site with the objective of promoting close exchanges between Chinese and EU entrepreneurs in common efforts for the transition to sustainable societies.