Chinese NGOs to attend Paris climate summit

Beijing, Nov 24 (IANS) Chinese non-governmental organisations (NGO) have been invited to a critical conference on climate change in Paris scheduled to be held from November 30, a media report said on Tuesday.

The 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) will be held in the French capital from November 30 to December 11, attracting participants from over 190 countries, including 2,000 NGOs.

In China, NGOs play a critical role gathering scientific data used by policymakers, supervising the enforcement of regulations at a local level, and serving as a bridge between the people, the government and entrepreneurs, the Global Times reported.

“We will send 21 members to take part in the conference,” Zhan Yufeng, director of China Youth Climate Action Network (CYCAN), said.

CYCAN mainly focuses on raising awareness of climate change and the importance of transitioning to sustainable energy. It has been holding an annual youth summit in Shenzhen since 2009.

Entrepreneurs in China have formed NGOs to have their voices heard on climate change issues. In 2004, the Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology (SEE) was founded by 80 initial members, most of whom are influential Chinese entrepreneurs such as investment bankers, mine owners and internet CEOs.

Wang Gengchen, a research fellow from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Science, said that some NGOs work on collecting data and doing research, offering valuable suggestions to China’s policymakers.

For example, the China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD) has launched its Energy Conservation and Climate Change project and released many guidelines regarding greenhouse gas emission, such as the Calculation Method of CO2 Emission in Petrochemical Production (SH/T5000-2011), which was recognised by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

However, despite all the achievements, Chinese NGOs still face many challenges mainly due to lack of expertise.

According to a Beijing-based NGO staff member, there are many NGOs working on the climate change, but few are professional. The lack of expert and precision equipment makes their reports less scientifically reliable.

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