Earlier this week, Shenzhen joined C40 as our first mainland Chinese city with Megacity member status China. The move brings the total number of C40 member cities to 68. By joining C40, Shenzhen, home to 10.6 million people and the second largest port in China, will have the opportunity to share the challenges and successes it has faced in combatting climate change.
The city has already deployed more than 6,300 electric vehicles; it upholds strict green building standards; and is one of China’s first cities to pilot an emissions trading scheme. These and other measures put Shenzhen on course to meet its goal of reducing emissions per unit of GDP by 21 percent between 2010 and 2015.
“As one of the world’s fastest growing cities, Shenzhen shares a common understanding of the challenges other large and rapidly urbanising cities – like Rio – face in relation to climate change,” said C40 Chair, Mayor Eduardo Paes of Rio de Janeiro. “The City has also shown a commitment to finding innovative solutions to address those challenges.”
Further exemplifying Shenzhen’s commitment, the city is now hosting the Second Shenzhen International Low-Carbon City Forum in concert with the 2014 China National Low-Carbon Day. There, representatives from more than 40 countries will engage in conversation about the path to “ecological urbanization.”
“The challenge ahead is to balance the increasing GHG emission due to rapid urbanization and low carbon targets,” said Shenzhen Vice Minister Xie Zhenhua. “We need to learn but not repeat the path of the developed countries. We hope to take the opportunity of low carbon day, lead, initiate and advance the low carbon development. In this process, Shenzhen should play a leading role through its high efficiency and innovation tradition.”
Other Chinese C40 cities include Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.