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TOP 10 Global Sustainability News | Oct 22 – 29, 2020


No. 10 China Sustainability Tribune launches GoldenKey—Sustainable Development Solutions Campaign
On October 27, China Sustainability Tribune launched the first GoldenKey—Sustainable Development Solutions Campaign, together with the academia, business and professional organizations. Within the framework of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, the campaign focuses on six areas, including green development, inclusion and equality, tech for SDGs, responsible finance, responsible governance and business innovation, aiming to find and identify more practical actions to implement the sustainable development agenda, so as to convey China's ideas, tell China's story and share China's experience.
At the same time, the GoldenKey Expert Committee composed of senior management of enterprises and principals of professional organizations was set up. Together with the Academic Committee of China Sustainability Tribune composed of scholars, both sides will jointly guide and contribute to the content and related activities of the China Sustainability Tribune, recommend and evaluate the sustainability practices of Chinese enterprises, share good business value, build a benign business ecology, and expand the influence of Chinese enterprises' actions for SDGs. (China Sustainability Tribune)
No.09 First report on China's circular fashion industry released

China has vigorously promoted the circular economy since the 11th Five-Year Plan period. The circular transformation of China's textile and garment industry has made progress in stages and initially formed the basic characteristics of its own circular development. The optimization of raw material structure, the improvement of resource utilization in manufacturing and the recycling of used textiles are the three key areas of industry recycling practices.
The report sets out China's new textile economy vision, as well as five major objectives for system transformation based on raw materials, design, manufacturing, consumption and post-waste. The suggestions include: further optimize the structure of raw materials and reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources; turn to textile design based on the principles of circular economy; further improve the efficiency of resource utilization in the manufacturing process; innovate in business models and expand green consumption; and promote the recycling and upgrading of used textiles.

No.08 China's first biodiversity conservation fund launched

China Environmental Protection Foundation launched the Biodiversity Conservation Fund on October 25, under the guidance of the Department of Nature and Ecology Conservation of Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China and the Office of China Executive Committee for COP15. Huatai Securities became the first corporate initiator and supporter of the fund. They will also build the country's first "Biodiversity Public Education Base" based on Yixin-Huatai Ant Forest Jingxi Public Welfare Conservation Area, for the preparation of COP15 and biodiversity conservation.
Ant Forest will promote "Yixin-Huatai Ant Forest Jingxi Public Welfare Conservation Area" online. It is expected to attract nearly 20 million users for biodiversity restoration and conservation. The Ant Forest users can collect "green energy points" to exchange 2,240g of "green energy" for 1 square meter personal protection of Jingxi Conservation Area. (China Environmental Protection Foundation)
No.07 Exported used cars ‘dumped’ on developing nations drive up pollutions

Used vehicles exported from richer countries are contributing to increased air pollution in developing nations and hindering efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, according to a report published on Monday by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The study found that some 14 million used cars, vans and minibuses were exported worldwide from Europe, the United States and Japan between 2015 and 2018. Around 80 per cent, went to low and middle income countries, with more than half going to Africa. The report is based on an in-depth analysis of some 146 countries. The authors found that two-thirds have “weak” or “very weak” policies to regulate the import of vehicles past their prime. The lack of effective standards and regulation means that old, polluting and unsafe vehicles are effectively being dumped. Developed countries must stop exporting vehicles that fail environment and safety inspections and are no longer considered roadworthy in their own countries, while importing countries should introduce stronger quality standards.
UNEP, with the support of the UN Road Safety Trust Fund, is part of an initiative towards this goal of adopting harmonized minimum quality standards. The focus initially will be on Africa, where several countries have already implemented minimum quality standards, including Morocco, Algeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Mauritius.  More have expressed interest in joining. (UN News)
No.06 13 projects win the 2020 UN Global Climate Action Awards

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change announced UN Global Climate Action Awards on October 27. This year’s award-winning projects demonstrate leadership on climate change by nations, businesses, investors, cities, regions and civil society as a whole. They range from the Caribbean's only carbon-neutral hotel, to the world's inaugural green bonds platform and the first all-women solar team in Lebanon.
As governments work toward implementing the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the awards are part of a wider effort to mobilize climate action and ambition. They also set the stage for two upcoming climate change events. The Race To Zero Dialogues, from November 9 to 19, will serve as critical input to the UNFCCC Climate Dialogues to advance work governing the rules of the Paris Agreement, which runs from November 23 to December 4. (UN News)
No. 5 UN headquarter holds events to mark the 75th United Nations Day

On October 26, UN headquarter in New York held official events to mark the 75th United Nations Day. In his remark, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the mission of UN is more important than ever. The UN chief emphasized that it is only through working together that the world can fulfil ambitions such as preventing conflict, promoting sustainable development, upholding human rights and protecting the planet. He also addressed that international cooperation is the only way to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, rising inequality and the spreading of hatred.
The United Nations officially came into existence on October 24, 1945, when the UN Charter entered into force. In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly officially declared October 24 the “United Nations Day”. (CCTV)
No. 4 Five Chinese ministries promote climate investment and finance

On October 26, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, National Development and Reform Commission, People’s Bank of China, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission and China Securities Regulatory Commission jointly issued the Guiding Opinions on Promoting Climate Investment and Finance. The Opinions indicates that private investment and foreign investment are encouraged in the climate investment and financing. It also supports various mechanisms to effectively attract and enable social capitals, encourages collaborative models such as “government-bank-guarantee”, “government-bank-insurance”, “bank loan plus risk guarantee compensation”, “tax credit finance” and standardizes the promotion of public and private partnership (PPP) projects.
The Opinions points out that by 2025, we shall

No.3 The first UK-based standard for sustainable investment management published

On October 28, the British Standards Institute (BSI), he county’s national standards setting body, has published the first UK-based standard for sustainable investment management. The standard, titled ‘PAS 7341 Responsible and sustainable investment management – Specification’, sets out the policies and processes needed to create and embed responsible and sustainable considerations into the investment process.
The standard addresses five key elements: Governance and culture, Strategy alignment, Investment processes, Investor rights and responsibilities and Transparency. Its release is a milestone for the BSI’s Sustainable Finance Standardisation Programme, a five-year long collaboration with the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the UK financial services industry in support of the UK Green Finance Strategy. The Programme aims to “define globally applicable standards for the finance sector”. (The British Standards Institute)

No. 2 The European Commission adopts the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability

Recently, the European Commission adopted the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. The Strategy is the first step towards a zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment announced in the European Green Deal. The Strategy will boost innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals, and increase protection of human health and the environment against hazardous chemicals.
Actions include,

 (The Economic and Commercial Office of the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union) 
No. 1 Japanese pledges to be carbon neutral by 2050
Japanese new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga made his first appearance and gave his first policy speech in parliament as an extraordinary session opened on October 26.
In his speech, Suga highlighted Japanese government’s future plan in environment protection: the country pledges to become carbon-neutral by 2050. This is the first time that Japan’s Prime Minister has given a concrete timetable for achieving a “zero-carbon society”. Earlier, the Japanese government had said it would achieve zero emissions in the second half of this century. Suga stressed that responding to climate change is no longer a constraint on economic growth but assertive measures that will upgrade industrial structure and promote a stronger growth (Yicai)
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