On September 8th – 9th, 2020, EC-Link Project organized the Europe-China Urban Green Development Forum as the final forum of its almost 7 years of implementation. The event was supported by the Delegation of the European Union to China and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD).The Forum meant to provide an overall outlook on EU-China collaboration in the urban sustainable development, with a specific look towards Green Finance and Climate Resilient Cities sectors, and to highlight EC-Link Project achievements from 2013 to 2020.
As Tian Guomin, Director General, Department of Standards and Norms, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) emphasized in his opening speech, the speed and scale of China's urbanization rate are unique worldwide. He appreciated the EC Link Project for its introduction of good European practices that helped China on its mission to reverse the old way of "construction, consumption, and emissions”.
Tim Harrington, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to China, added that strong EU-China relations in urban development benefit both sides. The EU 2030 Agenda, the European Green Deal and the efforts to turn Europe into the first climate neutral continent by 2050 are mirrored by the Chinese goals to reduce the pressure on natural resources and energy consumptions. Mr. Harrington stressed how smart, green and resilient cities are key objectives and the transition to a modern, resource efficient and competitive economy and society will depend on how we meet these challenges.
Said Wang Dazhong, Director of the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, “the world is undergoing important changes today, and the Covid-19 pandemic has caused great trauma to the social and economic development of the world. A united, prosperous, and strong Sino-European relationship is the need of the Chinese people and the need of Europe’s development.”
Around 200 officials, professionals and entrepreneurs from the urban planning, environmental and financing sectors attended the forum, bringing deeper insights into urban green development issues and innovative sustainable green financing solutions.
Moreover, the project team and stakeholders further discussed project achievements such as city to city cooperation projects, trainings conducted with pilot cities that increasingly fostered mutual learning, the knowledge products on priority topics such as green municipal finance, sustainable urban planning, and resilient cities.
EC-Link Project has received high-level government endorsement in both Europe and China as part of the EU-China Partnership on Urbanization, a broad political initiative promoting the development of adequate solutions for sustainable urban development. The services, technical assistance, and expertise provided by EC-Link assisted the MoHURD in shaping a national ecological and low-carbon framework, and helped Chinese municipalities with their own ecological, low-carbon urban development.