Global Climate Action Initiative was officially Launched in San Francisco
On the afternoon of September 12 local time, at the Global Climate Action Summit China Pavilion in San Francisco, California, the ‘Global Climate Action Initiative’ was launched under the expectant eye of government, business, academic and philanthropic leaders around the globe, and led by Mr. Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs, and Co-Chair of the Global Climate Action Summit.
Ten Chinese philanthropic organizations, foundations and research institutions formally launched the initiative as founding sponsors: the Lao Niu Foundation; Yanbao Charity Foundation; Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation; Vanke Foundation; SEE Foundation; Institutes of Science and Development of Chinese Academy of Sciences; Global Environmental Institute; China Global Philanthropy Institute; Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development of Tsinghua University; and Tsinghua University Education Foundation. The initiative was set in motion with a view to giving full support to the Chinese government as it acts to honor a series of climate change commitments made by China’s President Xi Jinping. These commitments include making a national contribution to the global effort to curb climate change, promoting South-South cooperation in curbing climate change, and building a green "Belt and Road Initiative". The initiative calls on the entire country and the rest of the international community to respond actively to climate change and take immediate action to encourage sustainable development, thereby getting all parties on board in a joint effort to achieve a global ecological civilization.
At the launching ceremony, Mr. Xie said, "It takes a joint effort by all parties involved in every country, including the central government, local governments, business and philanthropic circles, to cope with climate change successfully and achieve sustainable development. Chinese entrepreneurs and philanthropists have long held fast to the traditional idea, deeply ingrained in Chinese culture, of encouraging humans to coexist with nature in harmony. Their approach to climate change targets sustained efforts to achieve ecological civilization and promotes green, low-carbon development. As a result, they have done a great deal of work in many areas, including promoting transformation into a greener, low-carbon mode of development, alleviating poverty in an ecologically-friendly fashion, bringing desertification under control, protecting biodiversity, planting mangrove, clean cookstoves, and promoting South-South climate cooperation. They give their full support to the Chinese government's efforts to protect the ecological environment, reduce energy consumption and emissions, cope with climate change, and achieve sustainable development.
As a representative of the Chinese philanthropists present at the ceremony, Niu Gensheng, the founder of Lao Niu Foundation, read out the initiative for action, which goes as follows: "On behalf of China's philanthropists, foundations, research and educational institutions and philanthropic organizations, we propose to launch this ‘Global Climate Action Initiative’. In launching this initiative, we support the Chinese government's efforts to honor the commitments announced by President Xi Jinping in a speech that pledged China to active participation in the global effort to curb climate change and promote sustainable development; we will do our share of the Chinese effort by taking action for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, applying ideas aimed at green, low-carbon, circular development, and consciously fulfilling the task set before each and every one of us to reduce energy consumption and emissions and protect the ecological environment, with a view to adding to China's national contributions to the global effort to combat climate change. We will encourage dialogue between and among countries. Moreover, we will support the Chinese government's participation in multi-lateral talks on climate change; we will actively participate in South-South cooperation on climate change; we will take measures to adapt to climate change and give support to developing countries as they take similar measures to adapt to climate change as part of their efforts to make their national contributions to the global effort; we will offer training courses and lectures on climate change, both online and otherwise, offer special scholarships and set up other mechanisms aimed at promoting student exchanges, and support efforts by China and other developing countries by cultivating talent in fields related to climate change. To bring the ‘Global Climate Action Initiative’ to fruition, China's philanthropists and their philanthropic foundations will play an active role by making every effort to raise money for China's climate change green foundations and by letting everyone see China's strong support for the global effort to maintain the "Paris Agreement" and curb climate change.
Mr. He Jiankun, former vice president of Tsinghua University and now director of its Academic Committee on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, said that because the research systems established to support efforts to combat climate change are very important, he will support China's and other developing countries' training programs for reserve forces in climate change-related fields, by conducting solid research and diligently promoting international exchanges and other work.
Mr. Dang Yanbao, the founder of Yanbao Charity Foundation, spoke as a representative of the Chinese entrepreneurs and philanthropists in attendance. Under Mr. Dang's leadership, Baofeng Group has already become an example to all those involved in developing a circular economy with green industry; in fact in transforming its energy structure, Baofeng Group has set an example for businesses looking to reduce their energy consumption and emissions and achieve ecological civilization, and will continue to contribute to the global effort to combat climate change.
This ‘Global Climate Action Initiative’ fit neatly into the Global Climate Action Summit because the latter has "action" as its central theme. It shows not only the support of China’s social forces for the summit, but also the contributions China is now making to the global effort to fulfill the Paris Agreement and achieve sustainable development by taking concrete action. Itis hoped that more and more entrepreneurs, philanthropic organizations, and research institutions from China and other countries around the world will become parties to the agreement born of this initiative, and that both Chinese and foreign philanthropic organizations will strengthen their cooperation and exchanges with a view to making greater contributions to the global effort to combat climate change, building a consortium that shares the fate of the entire world and seeks to make a cleaner and more beautiful world.
"In meeting the challenge posed by climate change, we find ourselves in an ever-worsening situation. This initiative is introduced at just the right time," said Michael Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action. "Many of China's achievements in coping with climate change have resulted from Mr. Xie's efforts. I am honored to be appointed Co-Chair of China's Global Climate Action with him, and pledge to work with him to help cities, regions, businesses, and other organizations participate in this Global Climate Action initiative.
Mr. Bloomberg accepted the offer to serve as Co-Chair of China's Global Climate Action, and in doing so, will work with Mr. Xie and other partners to encourage China and the world to increase the effort to curb climate change.
After the ‘Global Climate Action Initiative’ was launched, philanthropic representatives from East and West held roundtable talks on the subject of a "Global Action Plan for Coping with Climate Change." Among those participating were Mr. Niu Gensheng, Mr. Dang Yanbao, Mr. Ai Luming (Executive Chairman, SEE Foundation), Mr. Wang Shi (Chairman, Vanke Foundation), Mr. Jonathan PERSHING (Program Director of Environment, Hewlett Foundation; former Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State), Mrs. Shenyu BELSKY (China Program Director & Chief Representative of RBF Beijing Office, Rockefeller Brothers Fund), Ms. Antha WILLIAMS (Climate Change Project Manager, Bloomberg Foundation), Ms. Kate HAMPTON (CEO of Children's Investment Fund Foundation), Mr. Nathan ARGENT (Program Officer for the Environment Program, Oak Foundation), and Mr. Dong Ce (President of Beijing Qiaonyu Foundation).