27th April, Beijing – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) jointly kicked off a three-day Stockholm+50 Stakeholder Consultation - today with a Business Roundtable and Youth Consultation Workshop. The Stakeholder Consultation is one of many nationwide consultations being held around the world in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of the UN Stockholm Declaration taking place in Stockholm, Sweden, from 2-3 June.
The Business Roundtable, held in partnership with the China International Chamber of Commerce (CCOIC) with support from the Swedish Embassy, Business Sweden and PwC, exchanged insights on how China’s business sector can adopt sustainable business practices, leverage green finance opportunities and lower carbon emissions.
Improving sustainability among the business sector is essential for achieving net-zero carbon emissions and building a greener future for all. The roundtable therefore convened business leaders in various sectors, policymakers and academics to share their experiences, and discuss the opportunities and challenges to ensure a low carbon and just transition.
The roundtable is part of a series of regional consultations taking place globally ahead of June’s Stockholm+50 international meeting in Stockholm. The meeting will commemorate the 1972 United Nations conference on the Human Environment – the first time in history the environment, poverty and sustainable development were recognized as interconnected.
Stockholm +50 aims to serve as a springboard to accelerate the implementation of the UN Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the 2030 Agenda, Paris Agreement on climate change, the post-2020 global Biodiversity Framework, and encourage the adoption of green post-COVID-19 recovery plans.
“Business-as-usual cannot continue,” said Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative, in China. “To keep the 1.5 degrees Paris target for global temperature rises alive – widely seen as the only safe limit – we must urgently decarbonize our economies, transform our societies and fundamentally reshape our relationship with nature”.
As one of the world’s largest economies, businesses in China adopting greener practices would have a significant impact on achieving global climate agendas. The roundtable therefore served as an important opportunity for businesses to further understand sustainable best practices, composing effective net-zero strategies and ensuring they take the right steps to meet both national and international goals.
“Achieving the carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals is a tough battle that needs to be addressed by all stakeholders,” said Mr. Sun Xiao, Secretary-General of CCOIC. “First, we should adhere to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and practice true multilateralism. Second, we should strengthen research in and promote carbon-neutral technology innovation and third, we should strengthen multi-party cooperation and the decarbonization of industrial supply chains.”
Mr. Joakim Abeleen, Trade and Invest Commissioner & Market Area Director Greater China, Business Sweden remarked, “many Swedish companies have global CO2-neutrality goals, many of which are ahead of the national 2045 target. Here in China, Team Sweden has launched our ‘Pioneer the possible’ platform, which focuses on supporting Swedish enterprises in China to become role models of sustainable development”.
The third annual report on the SDG practices of enterprises in China was also announced today and businesses were invited to participate in this year’s study. The report, produced by UNDP in collaboration with PwC and CCOIC, seeks to help the corporate world better understand and integrate the SDGs into business plans and activities, while at the same time inform policy and decision making. This year’s report is set to be released towards the end of 2022.
Finally, during the Youth Consultation Workshop, 30 selected young climate activists from government, research institutions, private sector and NGOs shared their opinions and recommendations for combating climate change and protecting the planet. The consultation provided a platform for youth engagement and civic participation in climate issues, amplifying their voices for more inclusive decision making.
Ms. Zhao Yue, Innovation and Communications Officer, UNDP China, firstname.lastname@example.org