ICLEI organized exchange tour for Chinese cities to learn from California’s Low-Carbon City Development

Supported by the Department of Climate Change of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) organized Chinese cities attending the US-China Climate Leaders Summit held in Los Angeles on 15-16 September to exchange knowledge and experience on low-carbon city development with California City on 17 September.

Organized by ICLEI and coordinated by Michael Schmitz, Executive Director of ICLEI USA and Monica Gilchirst, Deputy Executive Director of ICLEI USA, the field visits included on-site visit and discussion forum.

Zhaoli Jiang, Deputy Director of the Department of Climate Change of NDRC and Brian Peck, Deputy Director of California’s Department of International Affairs and Business Development attended the summit and delivered keynote speeches. Mr. Jiang stressed the urgency of combating climate change and the importance of cooperation. “We cannot overlook the issue of climate change any more. Let us take this summit as an opportunity to establish long-term and solid cooperation with international organizations like ICLEI, with their global network, practical technology and professional knowledge.” He congratulated the successful launch of the China California Urban Climate Collaborative (CCUCC) and encouraged participants to engage in cooperation and to participate in the next summit to be held in Beijing, China in 2016.

Brian Peck, Deputy Director of California’s Department of International Affairs and Business Development welcomed participants and delegates visiting Los Angeles. He expressed congratulatory remarks to the successful and timely launch of CCUCC, and introduced California reduces emissions and saves energy through enhancing energy efficiency, establishing low-carbon fuel standard, developing clean energy, and implementing carbon emission trading and management. He also emphasized the importance of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, as well as the role of cities in promoting sustainable development.

Other key speakers attending the summit included: former Mayor of Shenzhen City Jie Tang, Mayor of Santa Monica City and Broad member of ICLEI USA Pam O’Connor, Lynn Price from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Genevieve Herreriz from the California-China Office of Trade and Investment, Jiang Lin and Ming Hu from the Energy Foundation China, and Guiyang Zhuang from the Chinese Academy of Social Science.

Jie Tang, former Mayor of Shenzhen City expressed his interest on CCUCC and encouraged Chinese cities to participate in the program and to engage in long-term and practical exchange with California City, especially in developing clean energy industry. Remarking on Shenzhen’s pledge to peak its CO2 emissions in 2022 - eight years earlier than the national plan – Tang said that despite its challenging goal, he is confident that the challenges faced by his city will also open up many opportunities for cooperation and innovation in the future.

Michael Schmitz, Executive Director of ICLEI USA concluded the summit by introducing the implementation plan of CCUCC. As part of the exchange tour, Shenzhen City was also invited to visit the US-China Clean Tech Center in Los Angeles and the new life science building at Loyola Marymount University. 

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