The China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) was founded in 1992 as a high-level international advisory body with the approval of the Government of China. Along with rapid economic and social progress, the Council has witnessed and taken part in China's historic shifts in its development philosophy and model. The CCICED has played a unique role in championing sustainable development. It has opened the door to international experience on sustainable development and built a bridge between China and the international community on environment and development. The CCICED is truly a platform of exchange, enabling the international community to understand China and support China’s engagement with the world.
Over its 28-year evolution, the CCICED has developed a unique approach to policy research on environment and development which involves close cooperation between Chinese and global thought leaders. Moreover, the CCICED is characterized by a priviledged channel to China’s top decision-makers.
(I) A direct channel to Chinese leadership
The CCICED Chairperson is one of the leaders of China’s State Council, responsible for environmental protection. The Chairperson attends the Annual General Meeting and listens to the policy recommendations – a document which is also circulated to the State Council and concerned ministries. This unique channel ensures the Council’s valuable research findings and policy recommendations reach national decision makers.
(II) A platform for international cooperation and sharing
CCICED selects its members and experts from the highest levels of international and Chinese governments, businesses, international organizations, research institutions and social organizations, which work together on issues of environment and development concerning China and the global community. By exchanging views and experience, they learn from each other and help to foster China’s sustainable development by introducing new concepts and innovations. Disseminating China's green development experience to the world also benefits the international community.
(III) A comprehensive macro policy research body
CCICED carries out comprehensive, cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary research. The Council adopts an approach which integrates the environment, the economy and the society. It draws on advanced international concepts, policies, technologies and best practices to encourage a dialogue that reflects multiple perspectives and generate comprehensive policy recommendations.
Over the past 28 years, with the strong support of the Chinese government and international partners, CCICED has exerted a profound impact on China's environment and development process by raising strategic, forward-looking, and early warning policy recommendations. This strategic advice focuses on the promotion of sustainable development and the establishment of a resource-saving and environment-friendly society.
(I) Policy research findings
CCICED has conducted high-level, in-depth and broad-scoped policy research which takes into account the rapidly evolving domestic and international landscape and China’s domestic policy needs. The research over the years has covered a wide range of topics and evolved from the initial introduction of international advanced concepts related to sustainable development and the early efforts to raise awareness among Chinese policy makers on these issues. Since then, CCICED research has helped to support integrated socio-economic and environmental development. The Council’s work now goes beyond China’s borders to examine regional and global situations, examining the interaction between China and the world. The CCICED has truly developed apace with China’s progress, committed to advancing environment and development in China.
Since its foundation in 1992, the CCICED has carried out hundreds of research projects involving more than a thousand Chinese and international experts, and put forward hundreds of policy recommendations on issues ranging from pollution control to cleaner production, biodiversity conservation, energy and environment, circular economy, low-carbon economy, ecological compensation, the social dimensions of environmental protection, sustainable consumption, media and public participation policies, corporate social responsibility, green supply chain and green finance. CCICED has also partnered with national and local authorities to pilot its policy recommendations, such as sustainable consumption, environmental information disclosure of listed companies and environmental risk management.
(II) Role and influence
CCICED annual policy recommendations are circulated as official government documents by the Ministry of Environmental Protection to State Council departments and local governments, providing a reference for policy makers at all levels. Many of the Council's ideas, recommendations and propositions are reflected in subsequent policies, institutions, systems and standards.
"Many of CCICED policy recommendations on China's major issues of environment and development have been adopted by the Chinese Government and yielded practical positive results."
-- Prime Minister Li Keqiang, 2013
CCICED policy recommendations have been highly valued by the Chinese Government and incorporated into China's reform process. For example, in 2008, the State Environmental Protection Administration was upgraded to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, a full ministry of the State Council. This step has greatly enhanced the environmental governance capacity of the Chinese government. In 2014, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting approved the establishment of an APEC green supply chain cooperation network. In 2015, green finance was put on the agenda of the 2016 G20 Summit and the Guiding Opinions on Building a Green Financial System was released by China. This amply demonstrates the ongoing impact of CCICED’s policy recommendations.
The global development context has changed radically over the past 28 years. CCICED Phase VI (2017-2021) is starting its work during a pivotal time in terms of domestic and global transitions and transformation. As noted in President Xi Jinping’s Report to the 19th CPC National Congress, China will take tough steps to prevent and control pollution to 2020, and aim to fundamentally improve the environment and build a Beautiful China by 2035 and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, and culturally advanced by the middle of the 21st century.
Internationally, global environmental governance continues to face the challenges of uncertainty and instability. China will act as an important participant, contributor and torchbearer in the global effort to realize ecological civilization. China will join efforts with the nations of the world to build a community with a shared future for mankind and to build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.
As we enter this new era and face daunting tasks, requirements and challenges, CCICED will support China’s ecological civilization and global sustainable development so we can see the realization of a Beautiful China and a green prosperous world. The CCICED will make important contributions to environmental protection and sustainable development, in China and around the world.
"CCICED shall serve as a platform for exchanges on environment and development policies between China and the international communities, for promoting collaborative efforts to achieve ecological civilization, and for advocating innovative and better governance system of the global environment."
-- Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, 2016
(I) Focus on the core issues of environment and development in China.
The principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved to the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. This is the backdrop for the CCICED’s systematic research on issues related to society’s practical needs and to these fundamental contradictions. Policy research will cover among other topics green urbanization and environmental quality improvement, innovation and sustainable production and consumption, and green energy, investment and trade. The Council hopes this will contribute to the modernization of China’s national governance capacity.
(II) Provide an effective platform of exchange between China and the international community.
CCICED will build upon its strength as a unique sino-international policy research organization to engage with issues of international environmental governance, and to bring its considerable expertise to the service of improving the global environmental governance system, focusing on issues of common concern such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, South-South cooperation and ecological civilization, climate change, marine areas’ governance, and biodiversity conservation.
(III) Enhance exchange on China's green practices and international advanced concepts.
Thanks to the Council’s network of partner organizations and international experts, CCICED will launch the Sustainable Development Capacity Building Program to enhance the capacity for green development of central and local decision makers, the private sector and business leaders. The Council will pay particular attention to the gender dimensions of its work, and there will also be greater inclusion of younger participants in all activities and initiatives.
The Council is both a platform of engagement and a window into China, so it needs to proactively share more broadly China's experience and practice of green transformation. CCICED also needs to support dialogue and exchange with other developing countries, in order to enhance their capacity to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
(IV) Deepen and broaden partnerships.
CCICED will uphold the values of diversity, inclusiveness, and sharing, and will increasingly involve young people, the private sector and civil society in its research and activities. The Council will adopt a pragmatic approach to cooperation in areas such as policy research and demonstration projects, communications, event planning, and capacity building to expand the influence of both CCICED and its partners.
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