Turning Point in Tianjin
Earlier this month, Tianjin hosted a U.N.-sponsored conference on climate change. As part of the conference, NGOs gathered to discuss related issues. China Dialogue interviews Lu Sicheng, an environmentalist who organized the NGO session, about its significance for the development of Chinese civil society:
Meng Si: How would you judge the NGO activities in Tianjin overall? What were the highlights and the problems?
Lu Sicheng: This was the first United Nations climate-change conference to be held in China. Sixty Chinese NGOs participated, and one of the highlights was the scale, the diversity, the closeness of coordination and the pace of events that we saw.
We only learned the talks were to be held in Tianjin in early August. In less than eight weeks, Chinese NGOs organised 20 events and published a position paper on the civil society response to climate change. We brought everyone’s original plans together and combined several events, such as a fringe meeting on corporate innovation jointly held by WWF, the Institute for Environment and Development (IED) and Alashan Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology, and another meeting on impacts of and responses to climate change, organised by Shanshui Conservation Center, IED, Oxfam and Green River.
Our events won praise from some of our international colleagues. For example, an employee of the Global Climate Change Alliance said that “the Chinese NGO events had been better than those of the local NGOs at all previous talks.”