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UN and the private sector partner to address Climate Change in China

(Geneva, 6 July 2007) — At a special breakfast meeting held during the 2007 Global Compact Leaders Summit, and in the presence of the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Chinese and multinational private sector companies and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in China underlined the urgency to address the challenges brought by climate change as a main development priority for China.

According to recent finding by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, highland glaciers in China are shrinking each year by an amount equivalent to all the water in the Yellow River. It is estimates that 7 per cent of the country’s glaciers are vanishing annually. Glaciers on the Qinghai-Tibet highlands that feed the mighty Yangtze River could shrink by two thirds by the end of this century, impacting an estimated 300 million people who depend on water from glaciers for their survival.

“Climate change has emerged as one of the most important issues facing the global community in the 21st century. It threatens to seriously undermine future development efforts, poverty reduction and achieving the Millennium Development Goals” said Khalid Malik, UN Resident Coordinator in China and UNDP Resident Representative during the morning meeting attended by over 60 of the world’s most renowned international and Chinese companies.

The objective of this breakfast meeting was to highlight the climate change situation in China and stress the need for concerted action from various sectors of society, in particular the key role the private sector in China, has to play to address the climate change challenge.

“A clean environment is a basic right, and we must all do our part to protect it. The Global Compact Summit provides an important platform to raise awareness on climate change at the individual, company, community, country and international level,” he added.

"Environmental protection and sustainable development is the duty-bound responsibility of the enterprises" underlined Mr. Wang Jinming, former President of SINOPEC and senior advisor to SINOPEC, one of the largest oil companies of China.

UNDP China is promoting Public-Private Partnerships to mobilize the private sector and foster its contribution to development, in particular to address climate change.

The Global Compact Leaders Summit, held in Geneva 5 and 6 July, represents the largest and most significant event on the topic of leadership and corporate citizenship. Under the umbrella of the United Nations, the Summit will provide a platform for leaders from all sectors to work collectively to ensure that globalization delivers the widest possible benefits to all.

Special focus on climate change has been emphasized in this year’s summit, including the endorsement by the Summit of a specific statement “Caring for Climate” as one of the key outcomes of the Global Compact Leaders Summit.
 
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For more information, please contact:
Ms. Zhang Wei
Communications Officer
UNDP China
(86-10) 8532 0715
wei.zhang@undp.org


About UNDP:

UNDP fosters human development to empower women and men to build better lives in China. As the UN’s development network, UNDP draws on a world of experience to assist China in developing its own solutions to the country’s development challenges. Through partnerships and innovation, UNDP works to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and an equitable Xiao Kang society by reducing poverty, strengthening the rule of law, promoting environmental sustainability, and fighting HIV/AIDS. www.undp.org.cn