When the history of the early 21st century gets written, 2018 may prove to be a turning point when the world finally, finally woke up to the threat of climate change. Public and policy makers alike paid attention when a team of the world’s leading scientists produced a stark warning that we have just 12 years to reduce global emissions by nearly half. Natural disasters from typhoons to heatwaves to forest fires showed us a glimpse of what could become commonplace if we miss that target. And the year closed with governments in this fractured world coming to rare agreement on global climate action at the UN climate conference in Poland.
当我们回顾21世纪初的历史，2018年可能被证明是一个转折点：这个世界终于醒悟，意识到气候变化带来的威胁。 当世界领先的科学家团队发出严厉警告说我们仅剩12年时间去减少近一半的全球排放量，公众和政策制定者都开始关注。从台风到热浪再到森林大火，如果我们不能实现这一减排目标， 这些自然灾害将变得稀松平常。 在这个破碎的世界中，各国政府在波兰举行的联合国气候大会上就全球气候行动达成了难得的协议。
At the same time, another powerful and influential sector has also been responding to the climate crisis - the global business community.
Around the world businesses are voluntarily taking steps to lead the way to a low emissions world. The most recent and bold example is that of the world’s largest container shipping company, Maersk, announcing plans to be carbon neutral by 2050.
Make no mistake, without actions such as this from the world’s major companies, we will not be able to avoid the environmental and social devastation climate change could bring.
In recent years companies from China’s booming private sector have been stepping up to pull their share too. I see this as one of the most important contributions China can make in dealing with the climate crisis.
China’s real estate sector, in which my career has been focused, is already making moves. As of 2018, a total of 18% of the sector, representing 1.9 trillion yuan (US$280 billion) in sales revenue, has signed up to an initiative on greening supply chains, which was initiated in 2016 by Land Sea Green Properties, SEE Foundation, China Urban Reality Association, the China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce and my own company, Vanke. That’s 98 real estate companies and more than 2,000 upstream suppliers committed to taking action to reduce their carbon footprints. I believe that, together, we are pioneers toward the future of the sector, and that the only direction for the initiative is to expand, as more and more companies see the benefits to their business and to the world of taking climate action.
Since its launch, the initiative has developed green procurement standards for five major construction materials and compiled a publicly available “white list” of 575 suppliers taking action to reduce their emissions. Both of these resources can help companies make concrete decisions to reduce their carbon emissions throughout the supply chain.
To encourage and accelerate actions such as this from across China’s booming business sector, in 2014 I initiated C Team, an organisation tasked with working specifically on climate action from China’s business sector. Along with partners, we run trainings and capacity building events for companies keen to discover what they can do to reduce their carbon footprints. Last year we announced the China Business Climate Action (CBCA) and launched a set of guiding principles laying out eight key areas for strategic climate action, including renewable energy, green finance and carbon markets, building efficiency, and green transportation.
In 2009, long before we established C Team, I spoke at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen as a representative of 100 Chinese companies. At last year’s conference, I was representing almost 1 million Chinese companies, which includes member companies of the industry associations and federations, who are co-organisers of the China Business Climate Action, and supply chains of big companies like Vanke and JD.Com.
The growth is spectacular, and I am proud and more than a little awed that so many Chinese companies are stepping up to the challenge. The potential here is huge.
Last year’s twelve months of climate warnings and the crystal-clear message from the world’s leading climate scientists told us that climate action needs to come from all quarters. Businesses, big and small, are a vital part of the picture. The hundreds of thousands of Chinese companies who are taking action are helping to lead the way to a more sustainable future. My team and I will continue to encourage more companies to step up to this global challenge, and we will continue to thank all of them for the contributions they are making.
This year, governments around the world will be readying to up their emissions reduction pledges. As they take that step, business too must step up and do even more. We need more companies and more action. This planet needs us all.
今年，世界各国政府将准备履行各自的减排承诺。随着政府启动行动，企业也必须加强而且应该做得更多。 我们亟需更多公司和更多行动参与进来。 这个世界需要我们所有人。