Chinese Cities Show Climate Leadership on a Global Stage
By Zachary Tofias, Head of C40’s Sustainable Communities Initiative
By 2030, China is expected to have more than one billion urban dwellers, placing increasing pressures on the country’s cities and leaders to think innovatively in taking action against climate change.
At the U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit in Los Angeles in September of last year, Chinese officials pledged that their cities would reduce emissions and aim for even greater reduction targets than those set by national governments. China currently has a target to reduce emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and to ensure that its greenhouse gas emissions peak around the same year. To meet these ambitious goals, significant progress needs to be made.
Fortunately, Chinese cities are already stepping up, with the help of the C40 network. Wuhan – a C40 member and the largest city in central China – recently hosted a Low Carbon Development Forum, which was attended by more than 300 representatives of the Chinese National Government, Chinese cities and a number of international guests. Featuring presentations on the low carbon development plans for the City of Wuhan, the forum also highlighted strategies from other C40 cities Stockholm and London and showcased the importance of transnational cooperation in tackling climate change in cities.
Wan Yong, Mayor of Wuhan, said:
“Wuhan is experiencing extremely rapid growth, and the city is committed to developing in the most environmentally and sustainable way possible. This is a top priority for our city and for our country. We were so pleased to welcome and learn from all of the C40 international experts who joined us in Wuhan, and we are looking forward to working together with our new friends. This workshop and C40’s networks allow us to learn from best practices from around the world.”