Our Hopes and Promises:
A Communiqué from Chinese Businesses at Copenhagen
Over the past thirty years, China’s economy has sustained rapid growth in order to secure for its population of 1.3 billion adequate food and clothing and freedom from want. China’s success in raising its population out of poverty is one of the greatest success stories in recorded history. It is the result of the joint efforts of the Chinese government, Chinese industries, and Chinese workers, and the result of economic liberalization and a spirit of cooperation. Just as sustained poverty results in unrest and hardship, sustained economic growth generates prosperity, peace, and freedom. At the same time that China has met with such success, however, tens of millions of its inhabitants remain mired in poverty, and the nation’s per capita income is still comparatively low. We Chinese entrepreneurs will continue to strive for elimination of poverty, for humanity prosperity, and for peace and freedom.
We understand, however, that the scale and volume of modern economic activity have brought humanity to a historically critical moment, and that it is now of absolute necessity for mankind to reexamine carefully its relationship to nature. Humanity must initiate a process of harmonization; the model of economic development must be changed, and humanity must create a green model of economic growth friendlier to the environment. Chinese businesses have already made independent efforts to respond to climate change, promoting a revolution in technology and economizing on resources, as well as entering the low-carbon economy and assuming greater corporate social responsibilities. But it is the redesign of the entire economic growth model that will determine the future prosperity of humanity, its freedom and its security. We Chinese entrepreneurs are willing to work together with our peers, with national governments and with civil society groups from around the globe to embrace sustainable development and take responsibility for the welfare of future generations of humanity.
We maintain that the entire world should share the common goal of controlling climate change and of keeping it within tolerable limits. We endorse the desire of global society and governments to avoid the negative effects of climate change on a global scale and to contain the increase of average global temperatures to within 2°C of pre-industrial levels. We support the Chinese Government’s decision to reduce per-unit GDP carbon intensity by 40-45% from 2005 levels by 2020. And we are willing to demonstrate our own dedication to the common goal of combating climate change.
We hope that international society holds in common the goal of global environmental governance, and governments, businesses, and all of civil society can work together to establish a global coordinating mechanism;
We hope that mechanisms to integrate international efforts and the policies of individual governments will together establish a comprehensive, durable, and effective legal and financial framework, supporting the efforts of businesses to reduce carbon and creating an environment that will inspire businesses to move towards low-carbon operations, as well as sustain efforts already made;
We hope that entrepreneurs from around the world can cooperate and within the legal frameworks of different countries begin an industrial-sector low-carbon revolution, as well as contribute positively to environmental conservation efforts.
We promise to cooperate with and respond positively to environmental commitments the Chinese Government makes to the world, and to support the implementation of China’s international commitments by carrying out environmental conservation activities within the business sphere;
We promise to explore models of low-carbon economic growth which are harmonized with nature, and to turn our businesses into undertakings committed to the responsibilities of economic growth, ecological conservation and social development.
Finally, we promise to carry out the following actions:
- Establish climate change strategy for our businesses in order to guide long-term business development;
- Strive to reduce the carbon footprints of our production processes and other operation;
- Participate constructively in international and national efforts aimed at reducing emissions from business enterprises;
- Actively promote concrete emissions reductions targets for enterprises, including absolute emissions reductions, and any other quantifiable type of emissions target;
- Embrace our corporate social responsibilities by actively supporting and participating in climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
We sincerely hope that the conference in Copenhagen will embody the human spirit of cooperation and wisdom, and result in a concrete agreement, with binding legal benchmarks, that will enable us to take a measured and steady first step on our journey to meeting future mitigation targets and adapting to an already-altered climate.
This Communiqué represents the view of the more than 200 members of the Society of Entrepreneurs & Ecology (SEE), the China Entrepreneur Club, the China Entrepreneurs Forum, the China Urban Realty Association, and the Chinese Business Delegation to the Copenhagen meeting.
Supporting parties: WWF Shan Shui Conservation Center
“Our Hopes and Promises: A Communiqué from Chinese Businesses at Copenhagen” will be released on December 8, 2009 at Chinese Entrepreneur events
International Conference on Chinese Business and Climate Change
Venue: Radisson SAS Royal Hotel
Time: 4:00pm – 6:30 pm, Dec 8th, 2009
Host: Shan Shui Conservation Center, WWF, China Entrepreneur Club, SEE Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology
Chinese Business Reception
Venue: Radisson SAS Royal Hotel
Time: 6:45pm – 8:30 pm, Dec 8th, 2009