Effective global climate action depends on China, now the world’s largest carbon emitter. Over the past two decades, China’s unprecedented economy boom has brought with it a 250-percent increase in primary energy demand, causing a significant increase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For China to deliver on its international commitments, its cities – which generate 70 percent of the country’s emissions – will have to achieve aggressive low-carbon development targets. Local leaders must guide China’s unprecedented urbanization into climate smart, low-carbon development pathways.
Chinese cities must take bold action to accelerate their GHG emissions peaking. They must acquire the skills and tools to effectively implement low carbon policies land use, transportation and energy, and they must identify, scale and share best practices. Local leaders and practitioners are under great pressure to achieve rapid results.
In light of this, the CityLinks team is pleased to announce a new CityLinks Associate Award in China. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Climate-Smart Low-Carbon Cities (CSLCC) project is designed to provide four Chinese cities access to the skills, tools and support they need to implement effective plans for large-scale GHG reductions. The 18-month project is implemented by the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) under the oversight of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), with support from the China National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC).
CSLCC will promote U.S.-China exchange on best practices in urban sustainability. ISC and NCSC have selected four Chinese cities that are poised to accelerate local low-carbon development. The cities have set low carbon development targets including early peaking, energy efficiency, and low carbon transportation. The CSLCC team will assess the low-carbon development plans, commitments and capacity needs of the participating cities and provide practical, highly customized support to the cities in the form of international city exchanges, customized technical trainings, capacitating activities and technical assistance on developing and executing climate action plans. The CSLCC project will disseminate knowledge products, best practices and lessons learned to scale-up low-carbon initiatives across China.
While this isn’t officially an ICMA China initiative, it builds on our qualifications in climate mitigation, and will hopefully provide additional opportunities to work with local governments in China.