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Top Talk ¢ò: Urban Development & Environmental Economy

On January 30th, 2015, Top Talk II ¡°Urban Development & Environmental Economy¡± was held during the World Economic and Environmental Conference (WEC) Annual Meeting on Green and Low-Carbon Transformational Development themed ¡°idea takes the lead in low-carbon reform and innovation facilitates green development¡±.

Guests present include IreneGiner-Reichl, Austrian Ambassador to China, Mohamed Faisal, Ambassador of Maldives to China, Wang Yuqing, Director General of CHINESE Society for Environmental Sciences and Former Vice Director of State Environmental Protection Administration, Yin Chengjie, Member of the 11th NPC Standing Committee and Former Executive Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Jiang Minglin, Consultant of the State Council and Former Deputy Head of the Office of the Counselors, Zhang Hongtao, Consultant of the State Council, Former Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Land Resources and Garo Batmanian, World Bank Lead Environment Specialist and Agriculture, Environment, Forestry Sector Coordinator for China. Zhao Hualin, Director of the Department of Planning and Finance of Ministry of Environmental Protection plays the host.

According to Irene Giner-Reichl, Austrian Ambassador to China, in China, Shanghai, Taipei and Hongkong have done a good job in utilizing renewable energy, in particular applying renewable energy to its urban planning program. While building a smart city, Austria has formulated strict buildings standards, built zero-energy-consumption houses, provided government subsidies for household heating systems supported by solar power and renovated old houses to raise energy efficiency. Many Austrian companies boast sufficient experience in environmental protection, hydropower plant building and waste water treatment. She said that a comprehensive approach need to be introduced to build a smart city.

As Yin Chengjie, Deputy Director of the Agricultural Committee of the 11th NPC and Former Executive Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture said, greater policy support including implementation of renewable energy laws and relevant legislations ought to be provided to develop renewable energy in particular biomass energy. We have seen government support introduced in renewable energy pricing, loans and finance in relevant laws and taxation policies in storage of agricultural biomass energy. However, greater efforts need to be made to further advance the development of renewable energy.

Wang Yuqing, Director General of Chines Society for Environmental Sciences and Former Deputy Director of State Environmental Protection Administration shared his views on sustainable consumption with guests present. According to him, first, sustainable consumption should be introduced in stipulating the 13th five-year plan. Sustainable development should be raised to a high level in economic development and be connected with our endeavors to build a moderately prosperous society in an all-round manner. Second, although we have the law on rights and interests of consumers and law governing government procurement, how to realize sustainable consumption and green purchasing is a must.

According to Ambassador of Maldives to China Mohamed Faisal, Maldives is now seeking for technical innovation in environmental protection and utilizing green technology for power generation, for instance wind energy and solar power, etc. Now Maldives hopes that costs for green energy application could be decreased through technical innovation so that renewable energy could be utilized in a circular manner.

Garo Batmanian, World Bank Lead Environment Specialist and Agriculture, Environment, Forestry Sector Coordinator for China also shared his views. According to him, first, green development can provide good development opportunity for China. Second, green development is more than low-carbon development. Third, green development and urban development should be integrated and the former should be reflected in different fields.


According to Jiang Minglin, Councilor of the State Council and Former Deputy Director of the Councilor¡¯s Office, greater efforts should be made to promote green development in the industrial field. As China¡¯s standards for environmental protection are raised, efficient measures have been taken to reduce emissions in production in the field like building materials and coal. By doing so, nitrogen oxide and sulfide can be reduced to improve the environment.

According to Zhang Hongtao, Councilor of the State Council and Former Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Land and Resources, it remains a harsh task for China to realize energy conservation and environmental protection. We now still have an inappropriate energy mix. Coal consumption in China now accounts for about 70% of the total energy consumption. I¡¯m in fact not too optimistic about reducing coal consumption by 50% by 2020 within 6 years. So difficulties in energy conservation and emission reduction should also be considered.

Host: Zhao Hualin, Director of the Department of Planning and Finance of Ministry of Environmental Protection

WEC
Appraisal

Climate change is one of the most severe challenges humanity faces in the 21th century. WEC, founded in 2008, aims at advocating various countries to transform towards a green ecological development mode, cooperating with all walks of life, to jointly respond to climate change and deteriorating environmental problems in the course of human activities and economic development, via joint efforts and WEC platform, actively perform environmental protection mission and responsibility, and pay more contributions to economic transformation and low-carbon development.

-- Abulaiti Abudurexiti, Vice Chairman of 11th CPPCCC National Committee

The non-governmental "International Carbon-Value Award" was highly appraised by Mr. Ma Shengrong, who thought the appraisals have successfully push out numerous outstanding domestic and overseas companies in the first three appraisal activities. Green and low-carbon development need more widespread attention and public participation. Through case sharing, the award will serve as an effective way to improve social awareness, enhance media and public participation.

-- Ma Shengrong, former Vice President of Xinhua News Agency

Low-carbon development is not only a global revolution involving mode of production, life style, concept of values, national interest and human fate, but also a necessary choice for global economy transforming from high carbon energy source to low-carbon one.

-- Nicholas Stern, Former World Bank Chief Economist

The de-greening of the world is the most pressing issue facing mankind today. Every year many thousands of living species are destroyed, never to return to our globe. It is incumbent on the world to devise effective practical means to halt this destruction. This must be done not by grandiose declarations, but by providing appropriate incentives. I wish the fourth World Economic and Environmental Conference the best of success in addressing these challenging and difficult problems.

-- Robert J.Aumann, Nobel Laureate in economics

Thank you for inviting me to attend the WEC Annual Meeting on Green and Low Carbon TransformationalDevelopment. I particularly enjoy the opportunity to participate as a panelist in the forum title:�Economic Situation & the Driving Force of Global Innovation of Energy and Low-Carbon�.I amencouraged by the great amount of attention that China is placing on environmental protection and the increasing momentum towards green development. Canada and China enjoy a long history of cooperation on the environment and I look forward to future collaboration.

-- Guy Saint-Jacques, Ambassador of Canada to China

As a major power and the world’s biggest economy, China has an important role to play in ensuring a healthy world. By a healthy world�I mean, a green, low-carbon world where people’s need for development and prosperity does not at the expense of environmental degradation. China is an important partner for small island states such as Maldives—and the positive steps taken by China in global environmental diplomacy is much welcome. We have one world to live in and share and together we can prefect it.

-- Mohamed Faisal, Ambassador of Maldives

Through case sharing, more global enterprises can learn how to get hold of development chance and handling method in the process of environment protection and addressing climatic change challenge.

-- Terry Townshend, Deputy Secretary General (Policy) of GLOBE International

Capacity-building in the green and low-carbon fashion is a part of soft power. Future global economic competition is greatly embodied by that takes green and low-carbon technology and products as a kernel. Any one who has the courage to be an innovator will definitely take the lead in the economic growth. The best way to develop green and low-carbon economy is to combine innovation and market demand, domestic and foreign resources with policy guidance and support orientation. The setup of international carbon-value award aims to set a banner of green and low-carbon development for different industries, encourage small and medium-sized enterprises to become the best players. The award is also an effective social tool to keep an eye on enterprises' exploration of green and low-carbon practice."

-- Jon Li, IEEPA Secretary General

I do think that China is implementing a number of very interesting initiatives on low carbon development and I do hope that the results of this implementation will be very substantive and contribute to global sustainable development.

-- Stefanos Fotiou, Senior Regional Coordinator Resource Efficiency, United Nations Environment Programme

I have been visiting China regularly for many years. I witnessed the rapid economic and social development, industrialization, and urbanization of China. Such rapid progress inevitably comes with impact on the environment. Recognizing this, in recent years China has been investing on clean energy and clean environment developments than any other country in the world. hese are strategic to ensure sustainable development of China and the globalized world. Sustainable development challenges and solutions such as smart cities, energy efficiency, transportation, waste as a resource, and water resources management are diverse, and a global platform is needed to share evolving knowledge and best practices. IEEPA is excellently bridging the Chinese experts and the international experts from around the world, and also recognizing the individuals and organizations that made stellar contributions to the sustainable development.

-- Seeram Ramakrishna, Vice President of National University of Singapore, Director Expert of IEEPA Expert Committee

"The right policy goals exist, now it is about public understanding, implementation and monitoring ...especially in the rural areas qualified personnel is needed for these tasks. The relation of SUSTAINABLE economic development and currently necessary sacrifices should be communicated on all levels...

-- Stephanie Christmann-Budian, Senior Scientist and Representative for China Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Member of IEEPA Expert Committee

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