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The Clean Revolution: Let’s work together!

24 December 2011
The Clean Revolution: Let’s work together!

By Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group. 

(December 24, 2011)

2011 has flown by. China’s 12th Five Year Plan had barely passed the National People’s Congress before we had delivered the HSBC-commissioned report, Delivering Low Carbon Growth: A guide to China’s 12th Five Year Plan. And no sooner had I touched down in Durban for COP17’s Momentum for Change event, our 1,000 Village LED project in Guiyang got selected as one the ten global Lighthouse Projects by UNFCCC.

Then all of a sudden you realize that it's time to reflect on what you have achieved in the past year, and what to plan for 2012.

The year of 2011 to The Climate Group's Greater China team has been a great year of deliverables. From thought leadership to engagement events, and from cities to sectors, we have clearly and firmly made our mark.

The kick-off of the global program China Redesign in late March set us on a clearly chartered journey to capture the rapid urbanization process in China, to figure out how to decarbonize it.

With the help of Guiyang, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Tianjin, Chongqing, Dezhou, Kashgar and Guangdong Province as our lead city partners, and a group of leading solution providers and financial institutions as our strategic partners, we successfully delivered our Low Carbon City tour. The team and China Southern Media Group visited Hangzhou, Wuhan, Dongguan of Guangdong Province and Kashgar, for deep-dive investigation and needs assessment.

The China Low Carbon City Tour I report, was released on November 13 in Beijing as a highlight of China Redesign, to an audience of nearly 200 stakeholders from both public and private sectors, both domestic and international. The report helped grow popularity for this project, which has brought us a couple of new potential partners to carry on such an activity in 2012.

To drive the business community to take on more practical and aggressive actions of de-carbonization, we implemented a Carbon Treasure project, supported by SPF, Energy Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, that focuses on three critical sectors in China – Supply Chain, Power and Financial Institutions. A great engagement and capacity building platform and partnership, the project successfully released four Guidelines of Carbon Strategy and Management, including one general guideline and three sector-focused guidelines. I still clearly remember the day when we released the Guidelines, thanks to the overwhelming interest from media, government and wider business community.

The team in Hong Kong has made great progress in deeply engaging our members and potential partners in the region. We successfully concluded our Low Carbon Reduction Campaign and also completed a public series that contains four books targeting different audiences as well as launched the Million Forest campaign.

Our Million Forest campaign has brought some great partnership from both public and private sectors, as well as the general public, to convey a simple message that the climate is changing and impacting many people’s lives in climate poverty-ridden regions. When the Million-Miracle project was launched jointly with Baidu Chinese Wikipedia to bring the Million Forests campaign to 100 cities, we really got a glimpse of just how powerful this program is. I still remember the awkward moment when I had to be in the VIP room with the leading actress Yang Mi; I could barely find anything to say to her since I really didn’t know her! But the impact has been felt. That is the most impacting factor for us.

The Hong Kong office's Business Summit of Climate Leadership 2012 was another great highlight. Though various challenges in the process, the Summit of about 200 participants has now become a well-recognized brand in the market, and is supported by HSBC. It is not an exaggeration that this Summit has become 'The Summit' for the business community on climate change.

We also continued our work around Market Transformation in the region. After our successes in both demonstration in LED street lighting, and thought leadership work with electric vehicles (EVs) and carbon capture and storage (CCS), the team in Hong Kong continues our active engagement with key stakeholders for LED lighting, in particular with the successful model of Advisory Council meeting on a quarterly basis which is well received in the region.

The team in Beijing continues to work on CCUS with a report of 18 Most Critical Questions on China’s CCUS which was released in the summer, and our 1,000-Village Program to continue our engagement with Philips and cities. Our increasingly sophisticated technology-related work has allowed us make progress in pursuing exciting opportunities with such big players as Swire Pacific, HK Airport Authority, and more. Also our work with cities in various regions has offered even more value to our city partners.

The UNFCCC’s recognition of our 1,000-Village project was a high point for Guiyang and Philips, and of course for us too. The unique model we have built up through this project has demonstrated its success and offered us a valuable learning process. When Guiyang’s Executive Vice Mayor Ma Changqing was on the stage with me taking the recognition, and when the news was publicized worldwide and in China, I knew that our relationship with those partners was confirmed for future collaboration.

China’s Clean Revolution IV: Financing Low Carbon Growth was officially released in November. This is a relatively new sector we have stepped into and utilizing the team’s professional development perspective. This report put us firmly on the landscape of mainstreaming low carbon growth in China. At this moment, we have distributed this report to many identified key stakeholders, including Ministers, leading policy advisors, provincial and municipal level top leaders, business leaders and other stakeholders. With overwhelmingly positive and appreciative feedback, the flagship report from China has led us to bid new opportunities on the market. The report also integrates much of the work we have been doing over the last few years, including energy efficiency, LED street lighting, financial models, EV, CCUS and other policy related work.

The way I look back on the year, as I joked in my blog the other day, 2011 has come to its end with countless travels, speeches and interviews, and I look at 2012 with more confidence. I know how much is out there awaiting our continued and steadfast commitments and hard work. But I also know that the world in 2012 will become somehow a better place to live because of us, because of our contribution and hard work.

Here's to working together towards the Clean Revolution!

Read more of my future 2012 predictions and 2011 reflections on my Blog

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