Summary Report of the 4th China-Europa Forum - 中欧社会论坛 - China Europa Forum

Summary Report of the 4th China-Europa Forum

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Executive Summary

The 4th China-Europa Forum focused on the theme ‘Facing Climate Change: Rethinking Our Global Development Model’. It brought together more than 300 participants from 2 to 5 December 2014 through two plenary sessions and three roundtables in Paris as well as 12 thematic workshops in Paris, Brussels, Geneva, Lyons, Marseilles, Lille and Rouen.

Participants, most of whom came from China to meet their European counterparts, are major players in Chinese and European civilian society: NGOs, enterprises, research centres, local authorities and media. Their exchanges will help to enrich the current Common Text, the result of a year-long process of joint elaboration. When the summary of the workshops and consultations is complete the text will be finalised and made public in 2015.

This Forum enabled participants to express their common needs in terms of cooperation:

- Coordinating action on climate and the environment by all Chinese and European social actors;
- Coordinating access to and the sharing of knowledge, systemic approaches (circular economy) and, by sector, the tools to measure the impact of our production and lifestyle on the environment and climate change;
- Coordinating training about and awareness of environmental and climate change challenges for our citizens, our youth, our policy-makers and our corporate leaders;
- Coordinating environmental law and creating climate law;
- Coordinating regulations encouraging enterprises to act and produce responsibly with regard to the environment and climate;
- Coordinating and sharing technologies that enable a reduction in or better adaptation to the effects of climate change as well as the consequences of climate disruption;
- Coordinating and pooling sustainable financial resources.

Europeans and Chinese have a common awareness of the challenges of getting together to act on climate change and on the transformation of our development model. No one player can achieve this alone: international and multi-player cooperation is essential. We have common objectives of living better and producing better with fewer resources on a planet with limited supplies. Europe and China represent 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions on Earth. Despite recent engagements by Brussels to reduce 40% of European emissions and by Beijing to finally establish a peak to its emissions in 2030, more needs to be done.

Participants in the Forum targeted a number of obstacles to overcome. In both China and Europe civilian participation lags behind in climate action but for different reasons. It is urgent to acknowledge and promote the importance of the role played by NGOs in an action carried out by multiple players with public authorities, local authorities, enterprises, centres of expertise and media. For now it remains difficult outside specialised circles to get together and agree on sustainable solutions. Chinese and European corporate governance practices have yet to undergo fundamental reforms.