Summit appoints China’s chief climate change negotiator as co-chair


The Global Climate Action Summit on Tuesday July 24, 2018 announced Xie Zhenhua, Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs of China, as its fifth Co-Chair.
Minister Xie has for many years represented the Chinese government with distinction at both the national and international level including as China’s chief negotiator for the landmark 2015 Climate Change Agreement.
He joins an existing four-member panel of Summit Co-Chairs:
• Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor of California
• Michael R. Bloomberg, U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action
• Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change
• Anand Mahindra, Chair of the Mahindra Group
The Global Climate Action Summit, taking place September 12-14 in San Francisco, will bring leaders and people together from around the world to “Take Ambition to the Next Level.” It will be a moment to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens with respect to climate action.
The Summit also serves as a launch pad for faster and deeper worldwide commitments and accelerated action from countries—supported by all sectors of society—that can put the globe on track to prevent dangerous climate change and realize the historic Paris Agreement.
Furthermore, the Summit will pave the way for leaders, including heads of state and ministers, to announce more ambitious national climate plans at the United Nations General Assembly and Climate Week in New York, COP24 in Poland and the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Leaders’ Summit in September 2019.
Xie is a longstanding figure in Chinese climate change action, having led the country in energy conservation, pollutant emission reduction and environment quality improvement since 1993, when he became head of the State Environmental Protection Agency.
He was recently presented with the prestigious Lui Che Woo Prize for his efforts to tackle climate change and worked to establish the Chinese National Carbon Emission Trading System, which is a market mechanism to control greenhouse gas emissions.
Xie Zhenhua, Co-Chair for the Global Climate Action Summit, said: “I’m so honoured and delighted to be invited as the Co-Chair of Global Climate Action Summit. 2018 is a pivotal year for the climate change multilateral process. All the Parties are devoting efforts to the completion of the negotiation on the Paris Agreement Work Programme at Katowice, in order to lay the firm foundation for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and Nationally Determined Contributions. During this important period, the Summit will help to mobilize the national, sub-national, business, and society actors to demonstrate their actions and determinations, which will not only advance the global climate governance process, but also push the global green and low-carbon transformations.”
Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor of California, said: “Minister Xie Zhenhua is one of China’s most respected leaders in combating climate change. His leadership as a Chair of this year’s Global Climate Action Summit is important and will have a very positive impact.”
Michael R. Bloomberg UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action and Summit co-chair, said: “China continues to take important actions on climate change, and Minister Xie has been at the forefront of that drive. His leadership will help ensure that the Global Climate Action Summit spurs even more progress around the world.”
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: “I welcome Minister Xie Zhenhua as Co-Chair of the Global Climate Action Summit, which will take place in San Francisco, California in September. His experience and contributions to advance the climate change agenda will greatly contribute to the success of the Summit. His leadership will certainly inspire actors to accelerate global climate action. It is encouraging that actors are coming together this year to turn the tide on addressing climate change – demonstrating that inclusive multilateralism is the key to overcoming the major challenges that humanity faces today.”
Anand Mahindra, Chair of the Mahindra Group, said: “Minister Xie Zhenhua is a welcome addition to the panel of co-Chairs for the Global Climate Action Summit. His leadership will add to the impact of the Global Climate Action Summit. I look forward to working with him.”
The 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, hosted in San Francisco September 12 to 14, will bring together state and local governments, business, and citizens from around the world to showcase climate action taking place, thereby demonstrating how the tide has turned in the race against climate change and inspiring deeper national commitments in support of the Paris Agreement.
To keep warming well below 2 degrees C, and ideally pursue 1.5 degrees C—temperatures that could lead to catastrophic consequences—worldwide emissions must start trending down in short future.
The Summit will showcase climate action around the world, along with bold new commitments, to give world leaders the confidence they can go even further by 2020.
The Summit’s five headline challenge areas are Healthy Energy Systems; Inclusive Economic Growth; Sustainable Communities; Land Stewardship and Transformative Climate Investments
A series of reports are set to be launched over the coming months and at the Summit underlining the contribution of states and regions, cities, businesses, investors and civil society, also known as “non-party stakeholders” to national and international efforts to address climate change.
Many partners are supporting the Summit and the mobilization in advance including Climate Group; the Global Covenant of Mayors; the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group; BSR; We Mean Business; Ceres, CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project; the World Wide Fund for Nature; and Mission 2020.