On Wednesday, participants from around the world convened for the second day of the 2021 Annual General Meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation and Development (CCICED). Speakers offered insights and expertise on a range of critical issues throughout the day, with many noting that China’s commitment to green development is born out in concrete actions that can serve as a model for sustainable development worldwide.
In the morning, stakeholders joined an Open Forum to discuss the Green Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Participants considered possibilities for accelerating the pace of green development and discussed the intersection of this work with climate change, biodiversity conservation, and a post-pandemic resilient recovery. Several speakers underscored the significant impact of the Belt and Road Initiative in spurring economic growth in partner countries, and cited it as an important mechanism by which China could facilitate improved environmental standards internationally.
In the afternoon, stakeholders convened in parallel forums. The first, “Ecological Civilization: Building a Harmonious and Beautiful World for All,” focused on global biodiversity governance and mainstreaming. Speakers emphasized the importance of the upcoming 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, scheduled to be held in Kunming, China, in 2022. Several called for making this meeting a turning point in biodiversity governance by establishing a clearer overarching goal and maintaining a cross sectoral focus that includes health, agriculture, and finance, as well as enhanced international cooperation.
The second open forum focused on “Implementing China’s 2030/2060 Carbon Targets and Empowering a High-Quality Development.” This session was co-organized by Energy Foundation China, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and the Institutes of Science and Development of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Speakers outlined key actions needed to achieve the Paris Agreement and synergies between short-term economic recovery and longer-term climate goals. Participants also discussed policy pathways that could lead to carbon neutrality, including but not limited to an absolute carbon cap, carbon pricing, green finance, and urban carbon reduction strategies.
In the evening, stakeholders gathered for a policy research dialogue, during which the leaders of the Special Policy Studies outlined their research and findings. Issues addressed during this session included: China’s role in global climate governance; global biodiversity conservation; global ocean governance and ecological civilization; green urbanization strategies and pathways toward regional integrated development; a scoping study on managing river areas in the context of climate change; green transformation and sustainable social governance; green technology innovation and implementation; the Belt and Road Initiative; global green value chains; green finance; and mainstreaming gender in CCICED’s research.
On Thursday, participants will reconvene for the last official day of the meeting, with two open forums and a closing plenary session on the agenda.