The Eco Forum Global Annual Conference Guiyang with the topic of South-South Cooperation and Climate Strategy took place on July 10th. The conference was sponsored and hosted by the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development at Peking University and Guiyang National Development and Reform Commission.
Speakers from China and abroad presented their speeches at the forum, such as Mr. Zhenhua Xie, China Special Envoy on Climate Change and Vice Chairman of Committee of Population, Resources and Environment, CPPCC National Committee; Prof. Justin Yifu Lin, Honorary Dean of National School of Development (NSD), dean of Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development (SSCD), at Peking University, and Vice Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry & Commerce; Dr. Naoko Ishii, CEO & Chairperson of the Global Environment Fund; Ms. Anyaa Vohiri, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia, and Mr. Seyoum Mesfin, his excellency Ethiopian Ambassador to China. The forum offered a great platform of learning and sharing for over hundreds audients, including forty-five government officials and representatives as the trainees from twenty-three developing countries. Prof. FU Jun, Academic Dean of SSCD chaired the forum.
（Prof. FU Jun, Academic Dean of SSCD, the chair of the conference ）
China has always been a loyal advocate and practitioner of South-South cooperation, dedicated to providing aid and support to other developing countries coping with climate change, while committed to promoting its own growth, Xie said. Since 2011, besides foreign aids, the Chinese government has allocated 720 million yuan aimed at supporting and helping African, the least developed and other island countries to cope with climate change.
（Mr. Zhenhua Xie, China Special Envoy on Climate Change and Vice Chairman of Committee of Population, Resources and Environment, CPPCC National Committee）
Justin Yifu Lin pointed out that reducing poverty and pursuing prosperity is a shared dream of southern countries. Yet there are rarely any nations that have truly realized the targets of modernization. According to Lin, it is because in the past the majority of developing countries usually adopted experiences and theoretical references of developed countries when setting up developing policies. However, since the significant variances between countries, the results were limited, in light of which, South-South cooperation proves especially crucial in helping developing countries to achieve their goals.
With further economic growth and industry upgrade, China would gradually give way of labor-intensive industries, providing a golden opportunity for low-income countries with agriculture as the main economic form. The opportunity comes with its own curse—the crisis of global warming, which threatens developing countries far more than developed countries. Therefore, Lin appealed for a consensus among southern countries, which urges developed countries to commit to two promises: achieve greenhouse gas reduction and provide southern countries sufficient funds, technology and capacity to green development. Meanwhile, he emphasized the exchange of experiences between southern countries and the importance of leveraging green technology to cut carbon dioxide emission during industrialization, in economic development, poverty reduction and mutual prosperity.
( Prof. Justin Yifu Lin,dean of SSCD, at Peking University, and Vice Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry & Commerce)
Regarding South-South cooperation, Dr. Naoko Ishii representing the GEF, suggested the construction of an international knowledge sharing platform, fully gathering technology, expertise, methods and wisdom in existence to fight against climate change, and through cooperation among southern countries, reinforcing the influence of the platform to promote experiences and lessons in constructing ecological civilization to developing countries.
( Dr. Naoko Ishii, CEO & Chairperson of the Global Environment Fund)
Confronted with the challenges of global financial crisis, food safety issues and climate change, developing countries are required to work closer together and carry out more practical policies, Ms. Anyaa Vohiri from Liberian Environment Protection Agency summarized.
(Ms. Anyaa Vohiri, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia)
From a more practical standpoint, Mr. Seyoum Mesfin, his Excellency Ethiopian Ambassador to China introduced the green economic strategy Ethiopia adopted to adapt to climate change and the influence brought about by the greenhouse gas reduction at the forum. He also raised the hope to achieve zero emissions based on compounded carbon growth before the year 2025.
（Mr. Seyoum Mesfin, his excellency Ethiopian Ambassador to China）
During the Panel Discussion, Mr. Bruno Oberle, Director of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment; Dr. Naoko Ishii, CEO & Chairperson of the Global Environment Fund; Prof. Jintao Xu, Deputy Dean of NSD; Mr. Junfeng Li, director general of National Climate Change Strategy Research and International Cooperation Center (NCSC); Mr. Xiaohua Zhang, Senior Policy Advisor of Climate Change and South-South cooperation to the Executive Office of UN, and Mr. Dewen Mei, President of China Beijing environment exchange, expounded on various aspects of concerns such as energy, capital, talent and policies during the compilation of climate strategy.
China was able to set up the institute of SSCD thanks to the group of outstanding scholars who studied and summarized the successful reform and development experiences in the past 30 to 40 years of China and worldwide. “SSCD provides a valuable platform for mutual communications between scholars, government officials and elites from China and other developing countries,” Prof. Jintao Xu pointed out.
Mr. Dewen Mei echoed Xu’s comments. He said that China as the largest developing country has gone through 40 years of opening up and reform, and witnessed the growth of a great number of green technology and environmental friendly corporates of considerable size, as well as fruitful exploration and innovation in the carbon market. Yet, the pivot of expediting the progress lies in effectively building a third party market-oriented transaction platform related to information exchange, investment and technology.
Prof. Jun Fu highlighted the significance of the institute establishment. SSCD devotes to academic degree education and short-term training projects to government officials, academic institutions, news media, nongovernmental management, and research personnel from developing countries. China is currently actively transforming its role of participating in international governance, from an avid supporter to a positive initiator and leader in South-South cooperation, shouldering up the responsibility expected from the largest developing countries. The institute aims to promote South-South cooperation, and together implement the sustainable development target by 2030.