Causas EU-China Mayors' Forum

Energia e Clima | 20-09-2012

Maria da Graça Carvalho was invited by Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Energy, to chair one of the Plenary Sessions on the occasion of the 1st EU-China Mayors' Forum.See agenda here.

The forum was hosted by the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee and organised with the support of the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Rural/Urban Development, the EU Covenant of Mayors Office and the Chinese Association of Mayors. It took place today on the day of the 8Th EU-China Summit, at the Jacques Delors Building in Brussels.

Maria da Graça Carvalho co-chaired the panel Energy Efficiency Technologies for Sustainable City Development with Chen Yiming, Director-General, Department of Science & Technology and Energy Saving on Buildings, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, P. R. China.

In addition to EU and Chinese Mayors from high profile cities, the event was attended by China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, the President of the EU Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso, the President of the Economic and Social Committee Staffan Nilsson, the President of the Committee of the Regions Mercedes Bresso and China's Minister for Housing and Rural/Urban Development Jiang Weixin.

The PRC panelists of the roundtable were Ling Yueming, Vice Mayor, Chongqing Bao Manda, Mayor, Chifeng; Gao Wanjin, Vice Mayor, Wuzhong and Li Zhong, Mayor, Qian'an. The EU panelists are Gerd Schwandner, Mayor, Oldenburg (Germany); Andrew Geary, Leader, Milton Keynes (United Kingdom); Pekka Sauri, ViceMayor, Helsinki (Finland) and Jacek Krupa, Vice-President, Malopolska Region (Poland).

The EU and China have decided to jointly develop adequate solutions and create new opportunities for political and commercial co-operation. Improvements in the functioning and attractiveness of Chinese cities, together with more efficient use of energy in urban settings, are common goals for both parties. Simultaneously, climate change and environmental issues are perceived as very important challenges to be addressed by both sides at city level. The volume and innovative nature of urban investments necessary to achieve China's urbanisation objectives make this area a highly interesting emerging market.

The EU-China Partnership on Urbanisation is an overarching instrument conceived to support China and the EU in achieving the above-mentioned objectives.

The annual flagship event of the Partnership is the EU-China Mayors Forum gathering EU and Chinese Mayors, local decision-makers, city planners, business and NGOs willing to share experience in moving towards sustainable, integrated and efficient solutions.

The Forum contributed to the partnership by facilitating the exchange of experiences and peer-to-peer co-operation among Mayors; supporting the development of new actions and exploiting commonalities concerning urban methodologies; encouraging Mayors to pursue action; providing practical feedback to the Government-to-government pillar on needs and opportunities; becoming a highly visible initiative that strengthens support to the partnership and attracts other parties to contribute.

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