The Northeast Asian Mayors’ Forum is organized every two years among cities in the region to discuss sustainable development issues. This year the Forum was hosted in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on 18 and 19 June 2018, titled “Low carbon city development: improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions”. Over 300 guests including mayors from six countries and 18 cities from the region, as well as policy makers and representatives of international organizations, attended to exchange solutions and ideas.
ICLEI East Asia is a trusted international partner in the region, promoting low carbon development and regional air quality improvement particularly through the East Asia Clean Air Cities (EACAC) Program, and was invited to deliver a keynote speech on “Cooperation between local governments and systematic actions” in the main forum session: Key Policy Challenges and Solutions for Low Carbon Development in the Region.
At ICLEI, we notice the challenges cities are facing, including the lack of an effective and consistent approach, the difficulty to measure success, and the complexity of cooperation due to political and geographical factors. We believe peer-to-peer learning between local governments on low carbon development as well as air quality improvement is very important to accelerate actions as cities always benchmark each other’s performance. GreenClimateCities and EACAC were the two examples used to demonstrate cooperation among cities. The session intervention was followed by policy-sharing by capital cities Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo and Ulaanbaatar, most of which are ICLEI Members or EACAC cities.
Kihyun Kim, Director for International Relations Division at Seoul Metropolitan Government explains “Through the ‘Promise with Seoul Citizens’ there are ten measures for clean air in Seoul. The first is the classification of particulate matter (PM) as a natural disaster.”
Naobumi Higashikawa, Director for Tokyo Cap-and-Trade Program at Tokyo Metropolitan Government notes “Tokyo’s low carbon initiatives deliver co-benefits for creating a sustainable city. Step-by-step introduction of programs such as Tokyo’s Cap & Trade Program for large scale facilities, allows the program to improve based on the actual status of stakeholders.”
The next Northeast Asian Mayors’ Forum will be held in Seoul, South Korea in 2020. ICLEI East Asia has committed its support to the hosting city of the next Forum.
Support to Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar is a close ICLEI Member and ICLEI East Asia has been providing support especially in fields related to improving the city’s air quality. This includes developing a thermo-technical renovation project to reduce household energy consumption “Energy Performance Contracting for Residential Retrofitting in Ulaanbaatar City”, conducting resilient tree planting research in ger areas to reduce air pollutants “Ulaanbaatar Green Lung Project”, and providing international capacity building opportunities to city officers in both policy and technical aspects.
For further information on the forum, please download the agenda.