Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) opened its 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Beijing, China. Bringing together stakeholders from around the world both in person and online, the AGM is convening under the theme of “Building an Inclusive, Green and Low-carbon Economy.”
Huang Runqiu, CCICED Executive Vice Chair and Minister of Ecology and Environment, China, chaired the opening plenary session, welcoming participants to the hybrid event. Explaining that CCICED is beginning its seventh phase, he highlighted recent achievements and called for innovation as the main driving force to open up new pathways supporting sustainable development.
Steven Guilbeault, CCICED Executive Vice Chair and Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada, said energy security and transition go hand in hand, calling the seventh phases vital for tackling specific challenges related to decarbonization, biodiversity loss, and greening of supply chains.
Several CCICED Vice Chairs then addressed the plenary. Recognizing current unstable world circumstances, Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, stressed achieving a low carbon transition and coordinating domestic and international efforts on climate change and on sustainable development more broadly.
Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), called for introspection after the shocks the world has experienced from the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine. He noted that “CCICED is a place where we meet as professionals united by a common understanding of the imperative of getting it right.”
Zhou Shengxian, former Minister of Environmental Protection, China, noted CCICED can provide comprehensive policy recommendations to support China’s journey into a modern socialist society and called for innovation while learning from successes.
Kristin Halvorsen, Director, Center for International Climate Research (CICERO), urged strong implementation of climate policies. She warned against losing, in 2022, all hope of achieving the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. Echoing earlier speakers, she called for everyone to avoid letting short-term solutions put long-term goals at risk.
CCICED Chief Advisors then introduced the 2022 Issues Paper on “Stability, Resilience and the Green Transition.” Scott Vaughan, CCICED International Chief Advisor, emphasized that security and stability objectives are reinforced by low-carbon green development. Noting growing pressure to use security concerns to dilute, delay, or discard climate action, he underscored the critical importance of effective implementation to achieve tangible outcomes that narrow inequality gaps.
Liu Shijin, CCICED Chinese Chief Advisor, warned that some countries are currently increasing their dependence on fossil fuels given the current energy security problem and that the price of grains is reaching record highs in some countries.
CCICED Executive Vice Chair Huang then opened the floor for discussion. Many commended CCICED on its anniversary milestone and voiced their commitment to contributing to its continued success. Closing the opening plenary, Huang thanked participants for their targeted suggestions and reminded them there would be many more opportunities for in-depth exchanges on the Issues Paper during the sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Earlier on Monday, participants also convened in online Open Forums on:
- “Digital + Green” - Twin Transformation for Sustainability;
- Green Supply Chain - New Opportunity for Global Development;
- Linking River Basins Management with Nature Resilience; and,
- Ocean Governance - Past and Future.
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