China Mobile joins Climate GroupNovember 2008
China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile telephone operator, has become the first Chinese state-controlled business to join the Climate Group, the London-based non-profit body that campaigns for greenhouse gas emission cuts.
The company, which is among the country’s ten biggest businesses, is one of three new Chinese members of the Climate Group. The others are Suntech, the world’s third largest solar energy supplier, which is listed on the New York stock exchange, and the privately owned Broad Air Conditioning, a leading manufacturer of non-electric air-conditioning units.
The Chinese government and many businesses have set targets to reduce energy use and create more renewable energy. However, China’s three new Climate Group members are said to be the first to make more ambitious commitments to the organization's aims, which include significant cuts in greenhouse gas, publication of information on emissions, and support for international climate change agreements.
In fact, China Mobile, which has 420 million customers and a $47billion (£30bn) annual turnover, has agreed to cut its energy use by 40 per cent, double the national target. As a result, Chinese companies may be spurred to publish plans to reduce absolute emissions and to join voluntary carbon trading schemes.
Steve Howard, Climate Group chief executive, observed: ‘The fact that one of the companies [China Mobile] has significant state ownership shows that action on climate change is a priority for the government and the private sector.’
The decision by three big Chinese enterprises to sign up was welcomed by the former UK prime minister Tony Blair, who works with the Climate Group. Blair said: ‘China is a vital ally in the fight against global warming.’
Lenovo, a big Hong Kong-listed computer company, joined via its US head office in the summer, and other businesses in China have now applied for membership.
The Climate Group’s members already include global names including BP, BSkyB and News Corporation, Duke Energy, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Nike and Tesco.
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