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Vanke Foundation Showcases Chinese Solutions, Advances Global Climate Action at COP28


Vanke Foundation Showcases Chinese Solutions, Advances Global Climate Action at COP28

As a milestone moment for global climate governance, the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held from Nov. 30 to Dec.13, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, unprecedentedly took stock of the world’s progress on the Paris Agreement, and charted the future course of global climate action.

During this just-concluded summit, Vanke Foundation, a Chinese NGO, had been an active participant in the side events and exhibitions at the China Pavilion organized by the country’s Ecology and Environment Ministry, where the Foundation exchanged opinions with stakeholders from all over the world, showcasing sustainable and aspiring climate solutions from China’s civil society.

At COP28: Vanke Foundation’s exploration of public climate action

“NGOs have been playing a significant role in popularizing climate-related knowledge among the public, since elevated public awareness and engagement deliver climate solutions fundamentally,” said Xie Xiaohui, Secretary-General of Vanke Foundation, at a side event hosted by the organization on Dec. 11. With the theme “Tackling global climate change with community actions”, this event demonstrated multiple outstanding examples in China of mobilizing the public in climate action.

Xie at the beginning released the Public Climate Action Handbook Version 2.0, a series of guidelines drawn up by WildAid under the support of Vanke Foundation. Then, together with Ying Sheng, National Officer of UN-Habitat China Office, she issued the Future Cities Advisory Outlook 2023: Digital Innovations Empower Urban Net-Zero Carbon Transition, a flagship report supported by Vanke Foundation. Notably, a near-zero carbon community in southeast China’s Shenzhen City has been included in the case study of the report, and the practice of building a carbon-neutral community in YanTian Meisha Subdistrict, initiated by Vanke Foundation, is one of the pilot programs that have contributed to broadening public involvement in this case.

Besides, Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun, honorary director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Founding Dean of Vanke School of Public Health, Tsinghua University, addressed the side event. Zhao Huaijun, head of the Administrative Services Department of the Palace Museum in Beijing, shared his experience in expanding public engagement in the Museum’s “Zero Waste Campaign”, a project that Vanke Foundation has been sponsoring for years. In his speech centered on building a green Palace Museum, Zhao described the project as an attempt of China’s cultural and tourism industry to tackle challenges brought by climate change, which has witnessed about 21 million visitors joining in the activity in the past 4 years.

Corporate engagement, a complementary approach to public involvement in climate change response

“Low-carbon revolutions and innovations are pressing for all sectors of society, especially for the business sector,” Xie Zhenhua, China’s special envoy for climate change, emphasized the importance of corporate engagement in climate action while attending side meetings for businesses at the China Pavilion.

The abovementioned side events titled “Corporate Net Zero Drive: China’s Practice and Global Perspectives” and “Zero Carbon Technological Innovation: Driving Forces and Global Opportunities”, were co-hosted by Vanke Foundation and C Team, a non-profit organization incubated by the former. Attendees exchanged opinions about corporate engagement and influence in the response to climate change.

Xie suggested that although China’s installed renewable energy capacity had reached 1.213 billion kW by the end of 2022, technological upgrades in relevant industries should be prioritized to improve energy efficiency.

China’s chief climate negotiator Su Wei remarked that many Chinese entrepreneurs have been driving green transitions in terms of production, operations and supply chains since China has pledged to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

Wang Shi, Founder of Vanke Group and Chairman of Vanke Foundation, expressed that the innovative, pioneering, and transformative spirit of entrepreneurs could create a closed-loop cycle in business, which would produce pro-environment benefits. 90 entrepreneurs spoke at the China Pavilion at COP28 compared to merely 20 last year. This, he said, reflected Chinese entrepreneurs’ increasing involvement in global climate action.

At the same events, a collection called " Net Zero Drive: Chinese Corporate Climate Action Casebook 2023 " was officially launched. This casebook has been published annually by Vanke Foundation and C team for 5 years, introducing 95 cases in total at the COPs from 2019-2023.

Vanke Foundation’s participation in the COPs for 10 consecutive years, as well as its continuous focus on the climate action in urban Chinese communities, has proven its resolve and efforts in exploring solutions to climate issues, bringing public attention to the vulnerability of climate, and promoting carbon reduction technological innovation across sectors.

The institution has also incubated multiple flagship projects, such as the Snow Leopard Protection Strategy around Mount Qomolangma,the Meisha Carbon-Neutral Community in Shenzhen, China, etc.

During this year’s climate summit, Vanke Foundation set up a pop-up stall at the Biosphere 3 Solutions Pavilion, exhibiting various models, pictures and other installations that depicted the low-carbon lifestyle in the Meisha Carbon-Neutral Community.

Besides, a seminar focused on protecting human health amid climate change was also jointly held by Vanke Foundation and Tsinghua University. Experts including Huang Cunrui, John S Ji,professors from Vanke School of Public Health, Tsinghua University, discussed on solutions to avoiding health risks brought by climate change.