WWF launches 'Climate Solver' into troubled China SME sector

November 28, 2011
WWF Climate Solver

WWF has extended its Climate Solver, program to China to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) promote low-carbon innovations.

Its four partners, including Jiangsu Productivity Promotion Center and Baoding National Development Zone, will find potential climate solvers in China. The project will cooperate with the government to create an enabling policy and financial environment for developing, transferring and spreading low-carbon innovations and technologies of enterprises if they become climate solvers.

First launched by WWF Sweden in 2008, the project aims to select technologies with the highest environmental and business values in the fields of living, transportation and energy production.

But the project is not without problems. A report by the Institute of Policy and Management with Chinese Academy of Sciences   said: “Chinese SMEs face great difficulties in promoting low-carbon innovation and development.” It showed that SMEs, which account for 99 percent of China's businesses, are the country's major energy users and sources of industrial pollution.

Due to a lack of loans and other financing mechanisms, insufficient public services and policy support and relatively backward production techniques and equipment, China's SMEs lag far behind in the government's energy-saving and emission reduction targets, the report said, according to Xinhua.

 "In an era featuring low-carbon development, we may not have a future without the innovations of SMEs," said Li Junfeng, deputy director of the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, at the WWF ceremony.

Innovation in the country's large firms, especially the state-owned enterprises, is limited. But the innovation motives and pressures for SMEs are different from large firms', as they don't have market guarantees and monopoly resources, Li said.

"They will fail to survive without innovation. That's why we call on SMEs to make innovations,” he said.