GUIYANG, June 26 -- Multinationals operating in China are seeking to cooperate with the government to realize "green growth" as the environmental drive gains steam.
At the ongoing annual conference of the Eco Forum Global in Guiyang City, capital of southwest China's Guizhou Province, multinational heads have expressed the desire to further promote "green growth" with the government through ventures such as Public Private Partnership (PPP).
"We will continue to reduce emissions from current projects," said Bertrand de La Noue, chairman of Total (China) Investment, one of the world's top oil and natural gas companies. "But it will take the joint efforts of the government and multinationals to lower carbon emissions," he said at the forum, which is scheduled to run from Friday to Sunday.
China's environmental woes are worsening, its growth-at-all-costs economic model powered decades of explosive growth but tainted much of the country's air, water and land.
Environment Minister Chen Jining said earlier this month, "The Chinese environment is reaching or has reached its limit due to years of sprawling development at the price of environment".
In recent years, some corporations, including Panasonic and Pepsi, have been accused of contributing to China's environmental woes, with stories of their subsidiaries illegally dumping waste generating headlines. The government has promised to take "more forceful" measures in the next five years to protect the environment and promote green development.
"Law enforcement is fundamental for pollution control. It requires fairness, solid juristic basis and an interactive environmental monitoring system to ensure that strict environmental standards will bear an optimistic outcome," said Huang Xiaojun, vice president of Veolia China, a leading wastewater treatment company.
Meanwhile, Huang said, the government should offer convenient policies and commercial environment.
"In Europe, a significant part of environmental work is accomplished by enterprises, and PPP is also widely accepted. These models can significantly reduce risks of local debts and operational activity and improve working efficiency," he added.
Zhang Huaying, vice president of sustainability for Coca-Cola Greater China & the Republic of Korea, said companies should share experiences in environmental protection with the Chinese government to realize "green growth".
"The government is apparently determined conduct a 'green revolution'," Zhang said. "To reach that goal, a long-term cooperation mechanism between the government and corporations would be a good idea."
"Although such cooperation will not yield returns immediately, it will be worth it in the long run," said Kjeld Stark, president of Danfoss China.