Guangzhou bus project highlighted by UN

Updated: 2012-11-09 20:08


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Guangzhou’s bus rapid transit system was one of the nine global projects included by the United Nations Climate Change secretariat on its list of public-private “lighthouse activities” in developing countries.

The initiatives on the list, which was unveiled on Nov 7 in Bonn, Germany, will either help to curb greenhouse gas emissions or help people adapt to climate change, while at the same time benefiting urban disadvantaged populations.

It’s the first time that a Chinese project makes the list.

Guangzhou’s BRT project — one of the world’s largest integrated bus rapid transit systems — also won the 2011 Sustainable Transportation Award by the United States Transportation Research Committee.

BRT projects are public transportation systems that use buses to provide faster and more efficient service than ordinary buses, and that aim to approach the quality of rail transit.

The nine activities will be showcased at special events at the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, which will be held from Nov 26 to Dec 7, and can already be viewed on the UNFCCC website.

The activities include the promotion of electric buses and rickshaws in Sri Lanka, energy-efficient brick kilns in Peru, and a project to support the work of clean energy entrepreneurs in Uganda.

“We are very excited to showcase this year’s lighthouse activities as they demonstrate the commitment by communities, civil society organizations, local governments and private businesses to take concrete action to address climate change,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.

“The examples are inspiring and encouraging, not least for governments who have already set the course towards greater climate resilience, but who need to take the next essential steps to galvanize the speed and scope of climate action,” Figueres said.

Two key criteria for the selection of the initiatives were that they have proven to be effective, and have the potential to be replicated in other countries and communities. They were selected by an international advisory panel as part of the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change Initiative, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute, the designer of the local BRT system, will send representatives to Doha to receive the honor and share its experience in building the successful system.

One important reason behind the selection of the Guangzhou BRT project was that it has contributed to save energy and reduce emissions by increasing the efficiency of public transportation.

According to the British Standards Institution, the Guangzhou BRT system reduced CO2 emissions by more than 45,000 tons in 2010, and is expected to achieve an annual reduction of 86,500 tons in the following 10 years, a great help to improve the city’s air quality.

Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute will introduce the system to other cities home and abroad, including Lanzhou in Gansu province, Fuzhou in Jiangxi province, Yichang in Hubei province, Ulan Bator in Mongolia, and Kuala?Lumpur in Malaysia.

More than 36 countries have sent delegations to Guangzhou to learn from the project.