ICLEI continues to advance Sino-US partnerships in air quality improvement and low-carbon city development with NDRC and partners at 2nd Sino-US Climate Leaders Summit.
To deepen the cooperation between Chinese and US cities in addressing climate change and other critical environmental issues, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, led by China National Development and Reform Commission, co-organized a session on air quality improvement and low-carbon development during the 2nd US-China Climate Leaders Summit held in Beijing, China on 8 June 2016, along with the Energy Foundation China (EFC), Clean Air Alliance of China (CAAC) and NDRC Energy Research Institute (ERI).
ICLEI is focusing on urban air quality as an essential area for cooperation and action among cities around the world. The socioeconomic cost of air pollution is enormous. According to a recent report by the World Health Organization, indoor and outdoor air pollution are leading to 4.3 million and 3.7 million deaths respectively.
At the ICLEI session, local leaders and technical experts from the US and China presented their experiences and best practices in tackling air pollution and implementing low-carbon development. They also shared their future goals and strategies to achieve those targets.
The session featured presentations by:
Zhaoli Jiang, Deputy Director of NDRC Department of Climate Change
Xiaohua Li, Deputy Director of Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau
Chaolin Cai, Vice Mayor of Guangzhou
Bing Zhu, Vice Mayor of Suining City
Hongyu Ma, Vice Mayor of Yan’an City
Ken Alex, Senior Consultant of California State
Matt Peterson, Chief Sustainability Officer of Los Angeles City
Elizabeth Tisdahl, Mayor of Evanston
In addition to keynote speeches and city presentations, experts, researchers and business leaders from the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning, Qinghua University, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Power Flame Incorporated also presented their research results, policy solutions, technologies, methodologies and relevant programs in helping cities to enhance urban air quality.
They all agreed that improving air quality is closely connected to low-carbon development. Through policies on green transport, industrial restructuring and transformation of energy system, cities cannot only reduce emissions but also bring synergy effects to advance urban sustainability.
Organized by the NDRC and the City Government of Beijing, the 2016 US-China Climate Leaders Summit was second of its kind following the first summit last September in Los Angeles. In the 2015 summit, ICLEI East Asia Secretariat and ICLEI USA Office launched the California-China Urban Climate Collaborative (CCUCC). Supported by Jerry Brown, Governor of California State in San Francisco, the Energy Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency of California, CCUCC is a dynamic long-term exchange program between cities from China and California to find practical solutions to reduce carbon emission and air pollution and advance the clean energy economy.
In addition to the CCUCC, ICLEI is working on the East Asia Clean Air Cities (EACAC), a new initiative that focuses on air quality improvements in the East Asia region. In view of the transboundary nature of air pollution, and the close connection between air quality and cities’ resilience, liveability and inclusiveness, there is an urgent need for cities in the region to work hand-in-hand to tackle this shared challenge through exchange of knowledge and technology, as well as through city-to-city collaboration.
Nine cities and provinces including Beijing, Guiyang, Jinan, Shenzhen, Sichuan province (China), Kitakyushu, Tokyo (Japan), Seoul (Korea), Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) have committed to EACAC. ICLEI is now working with these participating cities and partners to identify the priorities and urgent needs of cities, as well as the tested policy and technological solutions in the field.