The public’s understanding of climate change deepens with the development of science. The 5th assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that climate change is mainly caused by human activities. If no mitigation action will be taken, the carbon budget corresponding to the 1.5 ° C target will be expended in the next five years. Climate change is influential all over the world and spreading to the very corner of our earth. To effectively control global warming and protect the most vulnerable groups from the adverse impacts of climate change, countries need to enhance and accelerate climate action as soon as possible.
Since 1992, international climate negotiations have undergone several milestones. In December 2015, more than 190 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) unanimously adopted the Paris Agreement, and set a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels or even 1.5 ℃ at the end of the century. This sent a clear message of economic de-carbonization to the world. The achievement of the Paris Agreement marks a shift from the top-down model of the Kyoto Protocol to the bottom-up model, namely, nationally determined contributions(NDC). It embodies the continued efforts and achievements of countries to save the multilateral process, reshape political mutual trust and reconstruct mechanism design of the global climate governance.
Entering into force on 4 November 2016, the Paris Agreement crossed double thresholds of ratification within one year, which represents being ratified by at least 55 nations emitting at least 55 percent of the world's greenhouse gases. Such rapid process demonstrates once again the willingness and consensus among countries around the world to address climate change and shift into renewable energy structure.
Considering the huge population, economy volume, carbon emission and energy consumption, China has a pivotal strategic impact on global climate governance. At home, China has adopted a series of measures to tackle climate change, and has committed to achieve peak CO2 emission by 2030. China also plans to launch a national carbon market in 2017. Moreover, more measures are taken to increase the proportion of clean energy, promote energy transition and develop strategic measures on climate adaptation.
In international cooperation, China has pledged 20 billion Yuan (about USD 3.1 billion) for South-South cooperation on climate change to help developing countries cope with climate change. This open, confident and ambitious approach infuses confidence and political impetus in developing countries for climate actions.
Coping with climate change is not only the responsibility of governments, it also involves cities, research institutions, businesses, civil societies and investors; importantly, these sectors are playing crucial roles in their respective areas to form concerted efforts to promote the whole society to jointly cope with climate change and to achieve sustainable development.
As a local environmental organization, we have been following international climate negotiations closely, writing analysis on negotiations outcomes, conducting independent research, organizing cross-border dialogues, and promoting stakeholder discussions on climate actions and energy transition. As well as conducting communications and knowledge sharing among stakeholders to increase awareness, and spark discussions on environmental, social and health benefits driven by climate action and energy transition.