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UPDATED: July 29, 2013 NO. 31 August 1, 2013
Green Commitment
Global eco forum held to promote sustainable development
By Yu Lintao

According to Su, in the next two years, China plans to expand cooperation even further by training 2,000 more officials and technical staff in those countries.

In the meantime, China is also accelerating the process of building a nationwide carbon emissions trading market. One month prior to the forum, China launched its first regional market for compulsory carbon trading in the southern city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province after more than two years of preparations. Pilot carbon emissions trading schemes will be launched successively in another six provinces and cities later this year and in 2014. China is gaining momentum in curbing greenhouse gas emissions with a market mechanism, Su said.

Pooling wisdom

During the three-day annual meeting, the EFG has held more than 50 sub-forums and activities concerning eco-industry, sustainable consumption, sci-tech innovation and green urbanization.

In a sub-forum on environmental judicature, participants discussed environmental legislation and related issues.

Brian Preston, the Honorable Justice of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales in Australia, said that environment courts should have sufficient right of jurisdiction and accreditation of the public. Insufficient jurisdiction is the major problem behind the operation of these courts, according to him.

In another sub-forum, Pan Yunhe, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, outlined the future development trend of "intelligent cities." He believes intelligent city construction is an effective measurement for promoting eco-conservation as well as one of the important directions for green development.

In a round-table meeting on international cooperation on environment and development, Daniel Joseph Dudek, Vice President of the U.S.-based Environmental Defense Fund, suggested that it is very necessary to directly link emissions control to environmental objectives of greenhouse gases, as well as establishing environmental and scientific pollutant inventory systems. He also stressed the importance of allowing the market mechanism to play a guiding role in environmental improvement.

To achieve a green transition of Chinese consumption, Xu Qinghua, chief engineer for Nuclear Safety of China's Ministry of Environmental Protection, said that China should integrate the legal, economic and educational aspects of sustainable development by utilizing the combined forces of government departments, businesses and the public.

In the Guiyang Consensus 2013, the document released by the forum, participants agreed to accelerate the development and transition to a green economy and vowed to promote social harmony and inclusive development as well as restore the natural environment and address environmental problems with the strictest possible measures.

Green growth

During this year's forum, the China-Germany City Dialogue and Guizhou-Switzerland Dialogue gave Chinese participants opportunities to learn from world pioneers in ecological development.

China and Germany share similar backgrounds in developing heavy industry such as mining and manufacturing. Environmental experts said that the re-utilization experience of German cities is an inspiration to China's own mining cities.

The mining industry in the German city of Herten provided 15,000 jobs during its peak, but these opportunities are disappearing along with the depletion of resources. With careful planning, the mining zones of the city have been developed into a new energy industry zone, creative industry zone as well as a scenic spot.

Volker Lindner, Vice Mayor of Herten, said that the mining area of Herten has become a world cultural heritage site and the city is focusing on the development of new energy industry as well as education. Mining cities should transform through the transition of industry and vocational education together with public participation, he said.

Vice President of the China Association of Mayors Tao Siliang said that the transformation process of Germany's heavy industry cities bears great significance for the areas of China that are pursuing sustainable urbanization as well as Chinese cities that are planning a green transformation.

Guizhou, one of China's less developed provinces, hopes to become "China's Switzerland."

Guizhou and Switzerland are both landlocked and mountainous. Both are rich in ecological and cultural tourism resources as well.

Li Jun, Deputy Secretary of the Guizhou Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, said that Switzerland's experience in becoming a wealthy country can be applied to Guizhou as well. In the years ahead, "Cool Guizhou" could become a hotbed for green development.

Email us at: yulintao@bjreview.com

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