Below is the op-ed from today's China Daily
Dennis Pamlin: Innovation the key for China in Bonn
In a few days the world's countries will meet in Bonn for a new round of climate negotiations. This presents an opportunity for China to support a more collaborative process with focus on solutions instead of problems.
Two major challenges face climate negotiations after the Copenhagen conference last year. First, climate negotiations are now so complex that no one has an overview of what's going on. Second, the culture at climate negotiations is one of short-term thinking where everyone wants others to reduce emissions and protect its own fossil industries.
China has an opportunity to put the negotiations on a positive track and demonstrate its willingness to deliver concrete results with the help of two suggestions. These two suggestions could be presented in Bonn in order to support future negotiations that will help the world deliver the reductions we need.
First, it could present ideas on how to make the process more open and transparent. New technologies with mobile applications and web-solutions allow experts and people all over the world to follow the negotiations in ways that was not possible a few years ago. Such tools could help the world to avoid a situation like the one in Copenhagen where many foreign experts and journalists misunderstood different countries' positions.
One of the key issues to be discussed in Bonn is "innovation in working methods, based on principles and models within the United Nations". A contribution from China could be to present ideas for tools to collect input from relevant stakeholders. It could develop its own mobile application and web-platform that could be launched after Bonn, which would help it in the process leading up to the big climate meeting in Mexico. This would allow China to better understand the stakeholders around the world, and provide tailor-made information so that companies, cities, countries and individuals can find ways to collaborate with it for a low carbon future.
The second idea is more ambitious, but also more important in the long run. China could introduce the idea of a track for transformative solutions in climate negotiations. Transformative solutions are solutions that the entire world can use and which provide the same or better services that old high carbon solutions do today. Examples of transformative solutions are e-books, tele-working, buildings that are net producers of renewable energy and intelligent public transport solutions.
Today much of the discussions focus on incremental improvements in existing systems. While such solutions have an important role to play, it is time for a truly global perspective where the focus would be on solutions that everyone on the planet can use. During the negotiations in Bonn countries will have to provide input to a discussion on "the potential environmental, economic and social consequences, including spill-over effects of tools, policies, measures and methodologies". China could use this opportunity to present the idea of transformative solution track with global focus.
The track for transformative solutions would develop measures that support companies with innovative solutions that society needs.
In Mexico, a lot of time would be spent on discussions on relations between rich and poor countries. During these discussions it will be very important to demonstrate the kind of solutions that the rich and developing worlds can develop and use. China and Mexico share many things in common so it would be fitting that they promote such a transformative solution agenda together.
The climate meeting in Bonn is around the corner and it's no time for major initiatives, but China could introduce the two ideas and begin discussions on both new smart ways to communicate as well as the structure of a transformative solution approach. This would demonstrate both innovative thinking and a global approach from China that many would welcome and which the world needs.