One of China's biggest companies will today become the first state-controlled business in the country to join an international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The powerfulÂ Climate GroupÂ will announce three Chinese members, including the majority state-ownedÂ China Mobile, which has 420 million customers and is one of the country's 10 biggest companies. It is the world's biggest mobile phone operator.
The other two companies areÂ Suntech, the world's third largest solar energy supplier, which is listed on the New York stock exchange, and privately ownedÂ Broad Air Conditioning, the leading manufacturer of non-electric air conditioning units.
The Chinese government and many businesses have set targets to reduce energy used and increase renewable energy. However the three Climate Group members are said to be the first to make more ambitious commitments to the organisation's aims, which include significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, publishing information on emissions, and supporting international climate change agreements.
China Mobile has agreed, initially, to reduce energy intensity of its $47bn (about Â£29bn) annual business by 40%, double the national target. This could pave the way for these and other Chinese companies to publish plans to reduce absolute emissions, and to join voluntary carbon trading schemes.
Other companies in China have already applied to join the London-based non-profit group, which is backed by some of the world's most powerful business figures, said Steve Howard, the Climate Group's chief executive. Of 100-150 world-leading companies they are targeting to set an example to businesses and policy makers, around 20 are in China, said Howard.