Shenzhen wins green city award

Updated: 2014-09-23 10:25

By AMY HE and ZHANG YUWEI in New York(China Daily USA)

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Shenzhen wins green city award

Tang Jie (third from right), vice-mayor of Shenzhen, accepts the award of Urban Transportation for the C40 City Climate Leadership Awards in New York on Monday. Zhang Yuwei/ China Daily  

Shenzhen, a major city in China's southern Guangdong province, was honored with an international environmental leadership award in New York City Monday evening.

Shenzhen won the top award for urban transportation.

"It's the first step for Shenzhen to become a green city," said Tang Jie, vice mayor of Shenzhen. "We welcome all of you to come ride the green bus!"

The C40 City Climate Leadership Awards, hosted by the C40 and Siemens, presented awards to cities for innovation in demonstrating climate action leadership.

There were 31 finalists spread out across 10 categories: urban transportation, solid waste management, finance and economic development, carbon measurement and planning, sustainable communities, green energy, adaptation and resilience, energy efficient built environment, air quality and intelligent city infrastructure.

Shenzhen was also a finalist in the finance and economic development category.

"We're delighted that Shenzhen's entered for the awards this year and certainly we see an increasing level of activity from Chinese cities in the C40," said Mark Watts, executive director of C40, at a media briefing held before the awards on Monday.

"Shenzhen joined this year and in the last few years and immediately became very active in completing all of the requirements of membership, reporting emissions through the CDP and participating in networks," he said.

"I think it's a great thing for the rest of the network because such a huge amount of innovation is taking place in China at the moment, particularly in the areas where you see Shenzhen has submitted its application - its use of new technology to solve problems that are common across many of their cities," he said.

Under the urban transportation category, Shenzhen was nominated for its new energy vehicle promotion, where the city prioritized the use of electronic vehicles in public transport. The city hopes to eventually transition to the use of electrified private vehicles.

The new energy vehicles have already cut CO2 emissions by 160,000 tons between 2009 and 2013, and the city plans to reduce by 820,000 tons between this year and next. Shenzhen has a long-term goal of reaching a zero emission ecosystem.

In the category of finance and economic development, Shenzhen was a finalist for having launched a carbon trading market in June of last year, created to help the city reduce carbon intensity.

"Shenzhen has put a lot of efforts in urban transportation including the use of electric vehicles, so really deserves this award," founder and chairman of BYD, a Shenzhen-based electric car maker.

"Steered by the Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission, the city carefully monitors the market at each step, including initial prices fixed by the city and frequent assessment reports. It aims to allow Shenzhen to reach its goal of becoming an environment friendly city, not just at the municipal level but also among businesses and citizens," the leadership awards finalist page said.

"From our perspective, China's cities are extremely active. They do have a lot of challenges - pollution, need for energy, transport - but we see a lot of engagement," said Roland Busch, managing board member of Siemens. "We see a lot of engagement from large cities, the top metropolitan cities in China, as well as the mid-sized cities."

The City Climate Leadership Awards began awarding cities for climate action innovation in 2013, with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) collaborating with German technology conglomerate Siemens to provide recognition to cities around the world for taking action to combat climate issues.

Other 2014 finalists included London, Vancouver, Seoul, New York, Jakarta, New Orleans, Melbourne, Taipei and Mexico City.

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