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About the 2014 Paris Conference on Climate Change

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China-Europa Dialogue

Facing Climate Change: Rethinking Our Global Development Model Conference

Paris, 2-5, December 2014 (Four Days)

300 participants from China and Europe

1. The Idea of this Conference:

To gather various actors from Chinese and European societies in Paris to rethink together our current global development model.

2. An event organized in the framework of China-France 50 / www.france-chine50.com

The Franco-Chinese Commission for the celebration of fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of Franco-Chinese diplomatic relations has labelled the Conference.

3. The members of our Steering Committee:

Special advisers:

- Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, IPCC Vice-chair

- QIN Dahe, Co-chair of Working group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC WG1)

- Michel Rocard, Former French Prime Minister

- Edgar Morin, French sociologist and philosopher

Other committee members:

- Georges Berthoin, One of the founding fathers of the European Union, former Chief-of-staff of Jean Monnet, first President of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community (1952-1955)

- Francine Cousteau, President of the Cousteau Society

- Ronan Dantec, French Senator of Loire-Atlantique

- Pierre Calame, Honorary President of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation – FPH, founder of the CEF

- François Godement, Director of the Asia and China Program of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), founder of Asia Centre

- Corinne Lepage, Member of the European Parliament, former French Minister of Environment

- Jean-Pierre Jouyet, Director-General of Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, former French Minister of European Affairs

- Paul Tran Van Thinh, Former European Union’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organization

- CHEN Yueguang, Vice-President of the International Academy for Chinese Culture

- LI Junfeng, Director of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation of China (NCSC)

- REN Zhiqiang, Chairman of the Society of Entrepreneurs & Ecology (SEE), chairman of the Beijing Huayuan Property

- WANG Yi, Member of the Standing Committee of the 12th China’s National People’s Congress, Vice-Director of the Institute of Policy and Management of CAS, Leader of Sustainable Development Strategy Study Group of CAS

- WU Changhua, Greater China Director of the Climate Group

- WU Jianmin, Former Ambassador of China in France

- WANG Zhenyao, Director of the China Philanthropy Research Institute

- YANG Fuqiang, Senior adviser on Climate Change, Energy and Environment of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

- ZHOU Yongzhang, Director of the Centre for Research on Resources and Environment of the Earth at the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, President of the Association of Guangdong Industry and Low Carbon Technologies

4. Three goals:

4.1. To raise awareness among the Chinese public in particular of the possibility of organising the same kind of conference in China in the future, and impelling governments to implement an efficient common sustainable development strategy for their people.

4.2. To consolidate the platform for dialogue and consensus between Chinese and European societies created by the China-Europa Forum, and turn this platform’s focus towards the challenges and opportunities of a green economy.

4.3. To draft a consensus paper between European and Chinese societies that will serve as a basis for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change to be held in Paris in 2015. This “Common Text” will respond to common challenges faced by China and the European Union regarding the transition towards sustainable societies. It will endeavour to find answers to the contradictions between China and the developed countries, the USA in particular, which led to a failure to agree on global warming since the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009.

5. Themes and Workshops (indicative)

1. Sustainable cities and climate change

2. Circular economy and energy transition

3. Green technologies, eco-business and climate

4. Carbon management and trading

5. Corporate social responsibility and energy savings

6. Sustainable consumption and production (including tourism, agro-ecology and sustainable food supply chain, etc.)

7. Behaviour of citizens and low-carbon society (awareness, education and communication)

8. Youth facing climate change challenges

9. Health and climate

10. Justice, environment and climate

11. Funding mechanisms of the energy transition

12. Water and climate

6. The participants

Approximately 300 participants from a broad range of backgrounds:

-  150 Chinese representatives:

30 academics;

30 officials;

30 representatives of civil society;

30 entrepreneurs;

30 opinion leaders and journalists.

-  150 European representatives: academics, experts, officials, NGOs representatives, legal experts, company managers, journalists, and other actors from civil society.

7. Programme (indicative)

Organizing and drafting processes

-  June 2014: Preparatory Conference in China and first draft of the "Common Text"

-  September 2014: Preparatory Conference in Europe with Chinese representatives and organisation of a press conference

2 – 5 December 2014

Day 1: Opening session of the Conference in Paris

-  Opening addresses
-  Afternoon: Four thematic panels

Day 2:“Decentralised” thematic workshops will be held in French and European cities with field visits. In each city participants will have the opportunity to gain knowledge of key projects relating to specific issues or topics being discussed by the panels (eco-industrial parks, R&D centres, models of sustainable urban planning and design, etc.).

Day 3: Workshop discussions in cities where workshops are organised. Each workshop discusses the projects visited and works on amending the “Common Text”.

Day 4: Closing session of the Conference in Paris:

-  Debate on reinforcement of the dialogue platform established by the CEF.
-  Conclusion of the workshops with presentations by two rapporteurs (one Chinese and one European) per workshop.

-  Synthesis of discussions and final draft of the "Common Text". Joint declaration.

December 2014:

Chinese participants attend COP20 in Lima – side event of the China-Europa Forum to present the conference outcomes.

Editing, review and publication of the “Common Text”.

8. Why such a conference?

Taking action is urgent! According to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global surface temperature change for the 21st century is projected to reach 4.8C and sea levels could rise as much as 0.8 meters in a worst-case scenario. Heat waves, floods and droughts, causing an increasing flow of climate refugees, are among the threats that will intensify through the warming of the planet’s surface should governments fail to find an agreement curbing greenhouse gas emissions. In the face of these paramount threats to human survival, we should not accept the current political stalemate!

Societies should get to grips with this important issue. Rethinking our global development model is an absolute necessity given that scientists are 95% convinced that mankind has caused most of the warming that has occurred over the last 60 years. For Europe and China, rethinking our development model means emphasising common challenges in terms of a transition towards a green economy. We need to revive the Sino-European dialogue.

In 2015 France will host the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 21). Without a broader framework of dialogue which includes civilian society there is every reason to believe that no agreement will be found between developed and newly industrialised countries. Yet both Chinese and European societies share an acute awareness of the limits of our current global development model. In this respect, public opinion is arguably a step ahead of government representatives.

There is therefore an obvious opportunity for the China-Europa Forum (CEF) to organize a conference bringing together a broad range of actors from both societies: experts, officials, NGOs, business, opinion leaders, jurists and other actors from the civilian side.

This is also an opportunity for the European Union (EU) to reaffirm its role as a driving force in the transition process towards a green economy and sustainable development. The EU must play a pivotal role in international negotiations. Reaching a consensus with China on climate change policy will give the EU the opportunity to bring all parties, especially the USA, to the negotiations table.

9. Why the China-Europa Forum?

In the eight years since its founding in 2005 the CEF has developed a unique channel of dialogue between Chinese and European societies:

In 2005 the initial meeting of the CEF took place in Nansha in south China. In the presence of statesmen, diplomats, experts and journalists, the meeting presented and opened up discussions on the construction of the European Union and relations between China and Europe.

In 2007 the second Plenary Meeting was held in Brussels with 800 participants. Forty-six workshops were organised in 23 cities across nine European countries before the plenary session, giving the Forum a role in global debate with key European and Chinese institutions taking part.

In 2010 the third Plenary Meetings was organised around 60 workshops, which were held across China and culminated in a plenary meeting in Hong Kong, bringing together 700 participants.

The CEF is supported by foundations, leading figures and prestigious institutions, and has developed strong partnerships with the media in Europe and China.

Among the founders are the Charles Léopold Meyer Foundation for Human Progress and the Association of Chinese Intellectuals Living in Europe, with the support of the Henry Fok Foundation and the Macao Foundation.

The CEF is supported in Switzerland by the China-Europa Forum Foundation, and in France, from 2011, by the Foundation for China-Europe Dialogue under the auspices of the Academy for Moral Sciences and Politics. Its Board of Administrators is presided over by the Permanent Secretary of the Academy and includes among others Marianne Bastide-Bruguière, Mireille Delmas-Marty, Pierre Calame, Paul Trân Thinh and Michel Rocard. Its Brussels Liaison Office ensures relations with European Institutions, Chinese offices and representatives, and the European regions.

In China, prestigious universities such as those of Beijing, Wuhan and Hong Kong have been long-standing and more recent partners with the CEF. They house the Chinese office of the CEF, which organises meetings and supports various ongoing projects.

The CEF has also developed solid partnerships with some major Chinese media ranging from official media such as the website people.com.cn to media closer to civilian society such as Tencent, the largest website in China, or the Southern Media Group. The Hong Kong TV channel Phoenix TV, with national and overseas outreach, is also part of our network of media.

(June 2014)

With support of: