Photo by: UN ESCAP

Northeast Asian cities discuss plan to establish Low Carbon City partnership

Accounting for one-third of the world‘s greenhouse gas emissions, the Northeast Asia sub-region with its rapidly rising urban population which is projected to grow to almost 70% by 2020, is seeking low carbon city (LCC) solutions to make their development more sustainable and eco-friendly.

One strategy is to create a platform where cities could share expertise, experience, policies and best practices – a clear outcome of the international symposium on ‘Realizing Low Carbon Cities in North-East Asia: Bridging Science, Policy and Promoting Cooperation” organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific’s (UNESCAP) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing from 5 to 6 December 2013.

“Member States of ESCAP in the Northeast Asia subregion have initiated a range of policies and experienced different stages of developing LCCs, each with its unique setting and needs,” said Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Director of the UNESCAP East and Northeast Asia office (ENEA). “But it’s time we stepped up subregional cooperation to enable adoption and advancement of LCC development strategies across the region.”

Pan Jihua, Executive Director of CASS’s Research Centre for Sustainable Development and Regional Executive Member of ICLEI East Asia Secretariat, delivered the welcoming remarks and moderated the session on “Low-carbon City Development: Policy Perspective”, while Taesang Kim, Program and Program Officer of ICLEI East Asia Secretariat, presented ICLEI Green Climate Cities program and HEAT+, a multilingual and international online tool for accounting GHGs emission.

Policy perspectives, the roles of stakeholders, tools and technological methodologies, funding and knowledge sharing on LCC development practical experiences and challenges were some of the highlighted issues discussed in the symposium.

Following the symposium, ESCAP and ENEA are expected to work closely with a pool of selected international and national agencies to establish a subregional partnership to accelerate LCC development in the region.

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