EXTERNAL NEWS

ADB Pushes Development of Public Transport System Amid Pandemic
25 Aug, 2020

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is calling for the continuous development of public transportation systems in the Asia-Pacific region amid the pandemic, as the impact of the health crisis will be felt for years.

During the opening session of the Asia and the Pacific Transport Forum 2020 yesterday, ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa said urban transportation in the region’s cities struggle to adapt in terms of financial sustainability and the new requirements for safety amid the pandemic.

“The pandemic has dealt the transport sector a massive blow that will be felt for years. Urban public transport is struggling to adapt, as enforced travel restrictions, coupled with reluctance to travel on crowded systems, contribute to sharply reduced demand,” said Asakawa.

Source:

https://www.philstar.com/business/2020/08/25/2037550/adb-pushes-development-public-transport-system-amid-pandemic 

Building Climate-Resilient Infrastructure in the Post-Pandemic World
25 Aug, 2020

With the global economy facing its deepest economic contraction since the Second World War, many governments are looking to infrastructure development to reinvigorate growth. Investments in infrastructure have the potential to boost productivity, facilitate trade and generate widespread multiplier effects that can aid economic recovery. As public sector support for infrastructure development and adaptation grows, new opportunities are likely to emerge for private infrastructure owners and operators — both in the construction of new infrastructure, as well as in the enhancement of existing assets. 

However, the risk profile of infrastructure assets is shifting: Climate change is imposing new pressures on the long-term and stable returns traditionally promised by the infrastructure sector. Volatility in the earth’s climate and an unprecedented global transition toward low-carbon energy and consumption is presenting new risks, and the private sector will not be able to effectively protect against these risks alone.

Source: https://www.brinknews.com/it-takes-a-village-building-climate-resilient-infrastructure-in-the-post-coronavirus-pandemic-world/ 

7 Trends That Promise Explosive Renewable Energy Growth Post-COVID-19
24 Aug, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economies around the world, forcing both governments and companies to downsize budgets, shift priorities, and delay capital projects. The renewable energy sector has, like nearly every other, been impacted by the global crisis, according to the renewable energy analyst firm International Energy Agency.

Prior to the pandemic, 2020 was set to be a record year for new renewable energy capacity — meaning the amount of new solar panels, wind turbines, and other sources of energy installed around the world. But the pandemic has disrupted supply chains, causing construction projects to be slowed down or delayed. Growing financial uncertainty, meanwhile, has further postponed projects.

Source: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/trends-renewable-energy-solar-wind/ 

Discussing Urban Solid Waste Treatment Plant Cost
24 Aug, 2020

The are many top equipment suppliers in the field of urban solid waste treatment plant machinery, and these people have an array of different garbage management systems available for purchase. One manufacturer which you might already know of is Beston Machinery. They provide top-quality MSW sorting equipment, which is fairly priced, making them a stylish option for investors within the waste management sector. Everyone can request a quotation for machinery in the manufacturer's official website.

The models of solid waste management machines many suppliers have available for purchase typically range from daily processing capacities of 100 tons to 400 tons. However, it's important to note that it must be generally always possible to design a customized plant to suit the unique requirements of your own urban garbage recycling facility. While the price of an urban solid waste treatment plant can depend upon numerous factors, on this page, we shall discuss a few of the main parameters.

Source: https://www.environmental-expert.com/articles/discussing-urban-solid-waste-treatment-plant-cost-996496 

Green’ Vehicles – Trend or Necessity?
20 Aug, 2020

‘Green’ vehicles are gaining ever more ground against the conventional ones, with gasoline or diesel engines. Whether we talk about increasing environmental responsibility, constraints that already apply or have been announced by the municipalities of the major cities at global level, a marketing trend or simply for ideological reasons, electric or hybrid cars area increasingly often a topic of conversation (and not only) all over the world.

But if we consider that the autonomy of batteries is relatively limited, the travel speed cannot be compared yet with that of the existing muscle cars, and the resources allocated to produce one battery are significant, as well as the price to replace it, we might think that gasoline and diesel engines still have a lot to live.

Source: https://energyindustryreview.com/analysis/green-vehicles-trend-or-necessity/ 

The Rise of Co-living Under the Influence of Urbanization in China
18 Aug, 2020

During the next decade or so, our cities will expand at an inconceivable speed. According to the UN’s 2019 World Population Prospects, our planet by 2030 is expected to have 43 megacities —classified as those with more than 10 million inhabitants. Most megacities will be in developing countries. And by mid-century, almost 70 percent of the world’s population will be urbanised, with today’s rate at just over half. Moreover, 90 percent of the urban population growth is expected to happen in Africa and Asia.

Under the global rise of urbanization, the concept of co-living has been introduced as a strategic tool to combat the lack of affordable housing in the metropolitan areas, and to provide millennial workers with enhanced communal experience. While ordinary urbanites are struggling to locate affordable accommodation, co-living spaces have become a trend among millennials, particularly in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in China, where the housing crisis is especially severe.

Source: https://www.archdaily.com/945504/the-rise-of-co-living-under-the-influence-of-urbanization-in-china

Merging Global Resources to Support Urban Sustainability
17 Aug, 2020

Environmental change, population growth, and accelerating consumption of food, energy, and water resources are creating challenges for urban sustainability worldwide, so a team of University of Tennessee researchers is collaborating to develop an international research coordination network (iRCN) with the goal of supporting sustainable urban systems. These systems, which include cities and their surrounding areas, generally have conflicting interests in terms of limited food, energy, and water resources.

Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-08/uoti-mgr081720.php 

Water Management Worldwide Is Failing, It’s Time for A New Approach
12 Aug, 2020

The United Nations recently announced that progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6 on access to clean water and sanitation for all before 2030 is worryingly off-track, bringing to light the challenges facing the water sector worldwide. 

This is concerning considering the importance of the target, which includes achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, and substantially increasing water-use efficiency across all sectors to address water scarcity.

Source:

https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/water-management-worldwide-is-failing-it-s-time-for-a-new-approach 

Plummeting Renewable Energy, Battery Prices Mean China Could Hit 62% Clean Power and Cut Costs 11% By 2030
10 Aug, 2020

China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, and is building the most power plants of any country in the world, making its decarbonization paramount to preventing dangerous climate change. But the costs of wind, solar, and energy storage have fallen so fast that building clean power is now cheaper than building fossil fuels – a lot cheaper.

New research shows plummeting clean energy prices mean China could reliably run its grids on at least 62% non-fossil electricity generation by 2030, while cutting costs 11% compared to a business-as-usual approach. Once again, it’s cheaper to save the climate than destroy it.

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/energyinnovation/2020/08/10/plummeting-renewable-energy-battery-prices-mean-china-could-hit-62-clean-power-and-cut-costs-11-by-2030/#6ca589e01519

Chinese Electric Buses Roll Out Across Latin America
10 Aug, 2020

If 2019 was a watershed year for Chinese electric buses in Latin America, in 2020 they became mainstream.

Latin American countries are moving towards cleaner public transport in their most populated cities. In the process, they have overcome existing barriers to the widespread rollout of the technology – driven globally by China – including scarcities of national financing models, charging points and trained personnel.

Manufacturers of Chinese electric buses are the largest providers to the region. Adalberto Maluf, president of the Brazilian Association of Electric Vehicles and marketing director of Chinese maker BYD, said: “BYD sold 1,045 buses last year in Latin America. This shows that the market is growing. It is not the size of the European market, or the US, but it’s already very close.”

Source: https://chinadialogue.net/en/transport/chinese-electric-buses-latin-america-roll-out/ 

Egypt To Introduce Artificial Intelligence in Irrigation Water Management
10 Aug, 2020

The Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation and the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology signed a cooperation protocol to upgrade the technology infrastructure of the former over two years.  

The most important step is the introduction of artificial intelligence to measure the impact of climate change, and the rationalization of water used in irrigation by analyzing different data. As such, accurate information will be made available on the cultivated area, and irrigation needs in different seasons making effective planning possible.

Moreover, the plan includes the automation of services offered to farmers and land owners, including launching a mobile app and renovating the ministry's website having farming guidelines. That is in addition to setting a strategy for introducing information management systems, and human resources management systems as well as holding capacity-building programs in the technology realm for workers.

Source: https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/1/90613/Egypt-to-introduce-artificial-intelligence-in-irrigation-water-management

Paphos Parking Gets ‘Smart’
10 Aug, 2020

Paphos aims to become the first town in Cyprus to implement ‘Smart’ parking and a tender for the project was launched at the weekend, according to municipal officials.

“The municipality of Paphos announced the tender for the supply of a “smart” parking management system, with an estimated cost of €1.2 million and an installation duration of seven months,” a municipal spokesman told the Cyprus Mail.

The project includes the management of parking spaces with the use of sensors at each location, this will be a total of 3,300 parking spaces in organised spaces and other areas, he said.

Source: https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/08/10/paphos-parking-gets-smart/ 

Building A Green Economy, Brick by Brick
09 Aug, 2020

In Uruguay, thousands of families earn a precarious livelihood making bricks, using traditional methods that are often inefficient and harmful to the environment. A UN project, in collaboration with the Uruguayan government, aims to make the industry less polluting, whilst preserving jobs for the many artisans who depend on it. 

When Eduardo Romero was 40 years old, he was fired from his job as a bricklayer. It was 1992, in the city of Durazno, Uruguay. With his few belongings on his shoulder, Eduardo headed for the north of the country and stopped only when he found work. It was in the city of Tranqueras, and his new source of income came from land, fire and water: Eduardo started making bricks.

Today, five jobs, two ventures, three children and 28 years later, Mr. Romero is still linked to this insecure industry, which is both an easy source of employment for those who need it most, but where people work without social security or insurance, and with their labour rights continuously violated. “It is a precarious sector,” says Mr. Romero. “We are always on the edge of town, wearing dirty clothes.”

Source: https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/08/09/building-a-green-economy-brick-by-brick/

EU Hydrogen Strategy Upgrades Green Hydrogen from Pipe Dream to Reality
07 Aug, 2020

The European Union (EU) released its Hydrogen Strategy for a Climate-Neutral Europe (the EU Hydrogen Strategy) on 8 July, announcing that it views hydrogen as “essential to support the EU’s commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.” There is a growing realisation that renewable power will not be sufficient to decarbonise all of the EU’s energy consumption by 2050, and green hydrogen is seen as crucial to bridge the gap.

Furthermore, the EU stated that it firmly believes that the economic rescue plan following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic should be built around the European Green Deal strategy, a roadmap presented in December 2019 which aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, and the EU expects to unlock investments that are aligned with its “green objectives.”

Source: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/eu-hydrogen-strategy-upgrades-green-21091/ 

Commission Vows to Green EU Aviation with Sustainable Fuels
06 Aug, 2020

In an effort to green aviation, European Union launched on August 5 a public consultation on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation sector, the Commission said on August 6, noting that the EU’s executive arm is currently assessing different policy options to boost the development and uptake of sustainable aviation fuels in the EU.

The Commission invites citizens and interested parties from industry and society to share their views and ideas, Transport Commissioner said. “To achieve the targets of the European Green Deal, the transport sector will need to reduce its emissions by 90%. All transport modes are expected to contribute, including aviation. In the past months, the aviation sector has been heavily hit by the coronavirus pandemic,” she said. “The objective of our ReFuelEU Aviation initiative is to use the recovery as an opportunity for aviation to become greener and help to reach the EU’s climate targets by boosting the largely untapped potential of sustainable aviation fuels,” Vălean added.

Source: https://www.neweurope.eu/article/commission-vows-to-green-eu-aviation-with-sustainable-fuels/ 

India Faces Growing Biomedical Waste Crisis as Coronavirus Cases Soar
04 Aug, 2020

Ms Arasmani Devi, 36, plucks out a needle from a used injection with her bare hands, before throwing its plastic barrel and plunger into a sack of potentially recyclable items. Her 40-year-old husband Akhilesh Paswan works next to her at a recycling yard in Noida, a suburb near Delhi.

"These days we find more masks and gloves in the waste," he said, picking up a dirty set of plastic gloves from the ground with his bare hands.

Cows and dogs scavenging in the background for potential treats suddenly disperse as another waste picker chases them away.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/india-faces-growing-biomedical-waste-crisis-as-coronavirus-cases-soar 

Here Are Possible Recycling Solutions for Foam, Large Rigids and More
03 Aug, 2020

The Spanish plastics research institute AIMPLAS has written about a project through which plastics from bulky items were recycled into products using a variety of technologies.

AIMPLAS coordinated the 10 million euro (about $11.4 million) URBANREC project, which collected bulky durable goods from areas in Belgium, Poland, Spain and Turkey. URBANREC began in 2016 and wrapped up last fall.

In a paper prepared by Anabel Crespo, Construction and Renewable Energies Group leader at AIMPLAS, the organization described how the project focused on the recovery of polyurethane foam, mixed hard plastics, mixed textiles and wood.

In the project, bulky waste was defined as mixed waste that doesn’t fit in regular containers used for household recyclables collection, including furniture, mattresses, fixtures, upholstery, carpets, large rigid plastics, wood and other materials. It excludes construction and demolition debris, electronics and electrical appliances and batteries, among other items.

Source: https://resource-recycling.com/plastics/2020/08/03/here-are-possible-recycling-solutions-for-foam-large-rigids-and-more/

China’s Worst Floods in Decades
27 Jul, 2020

Heavy rains are putting the Yangtze River at risk of repeating the devastating floods of 1998 which left more than 4,000 people dead and 14 million homeless. The latest natural disaster comes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and an escalating trade war with the US. 

The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and China’s most important waterway, with some 175 cities located near its banks. As well as being home to a number of multinational companies, the prosperous Yangtze River Basin is a powerhouse of industrial output, generating nearly half of the country’s GDP.

Source:

https://multimedia.scmp.com/infographics/news/china/article/3094790/china-floods/index.html

It’s Time to End Our ‘Dirty’ Concrete Addiction
16 Jul, 2020

Sustainability has always been at the mercy of market forces, with stakeholders often preferring cheap and traditional rather than new and innovative.

As building work recommences, these market forces risk stifling the sustainable innovations that the construction industry desperately needs. Right now is an especially important time to keep green building principles at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

The need to ‘build back better’ has been addressed by prime minister Boris Johnson and the Race to Zero campaign as well as by the Construction Leadership Council in its Roadmap to Recovery. Specific details however have been sparse, and there are a multitude of materials that need to be properly governed if vital green benchmarks are going to be achieved.

Source: https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/agenda/opinion/its-time-to-end-our-dirty-concrete-addiction-16-07-2020/

How Banks Are Trying to Capture the Green Transition
15 Jul, 2020

Private sector banks in the UK should have a central role in financing climate action and supporting a just transition to a low carbon economy. That’s according to a new report from the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics. 

Framed as a strategic opportunity that climate change represents for investors, the report identifies four specific reasons why banks should support the just transition. It would reinforce trust after the financial crisis; it would demonstrate leadership; it would reduce their exposure to material climate risks; and it would expand their customer base by creating demand for new services and products.

The report is not alone in its attempt to put banking and finance at the centre of a green and just transition. Similar arguments are presented by the World Bank, by the European Union, and by many national task forces on financing the transition, including the UK’s.

Source: https://theconversation.com/how-banks-are-trying-to-capture-the-green-transition-142458

Green Finance Taxonomy: Sustainable Opportunities for Transport
14 Jul, 2020

The adoption of the Taxonomy Regulation by the last EP Plenary in June marks the final step of the legislative process for creating the world’s first green classification of sustainable economic activities.

By re-orienting private sector investments to green technologies and businesses, this piece of legislation will serve as guidance for the EU to reach the climate neutrality by 2050.

This should happen with the help of delegated acts containing specific technical criteria to supplement the principles set out in the Regulation. Expected by the end of this year, these new criteria will profile which technologies will be worthy a sustainable-proofed future. And this is where a simple detail hides major technical difficulties.

Source:

https://www.euractiv.com/section/alternative-renewable-fuels/opinion/green-finance-taxonomy-sustainable-opportunities-for-transport/ 

Teams Triumph in Global Engineering Design Challenge
13 Jul, 2020

Two Strathclyde teams made it into the Grand Final of a prestigious design competition which aims to provide real world solutions to issues faced by a real community.

The Engineers Without Borders UK Engineering for People Design Challenge attracted entries from more than 1,000 student teams across the UK and Ireland. The students were tasked to come up with design solutions to issues faced by the Makers Valley community, an urban area in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Around 45,000 people live there, and rapid population growth and economic inequality have caused housing shortages, inconsistent access to electricity and water, food scarcity, and problems with waste collection.

Source: https://www.strath.ac.uk/whystrathclyde/news/studentsteamstriumphinglobalengineeringchallenge/ 

To What Extent Can Renewable Energy Empower Women In Rural Communities?
08 Jul, 2020

The global energy sector is rapidly transforming and moving more towards renewable energy, a shift that is a huge opportunity to achieve greater gender equality and inclusion.

Yet the energy sector remains one of the least gender diverse industries in the world – only 32% of its workforce is female.

Reinforcing gender equality in any industry is key to generating widespread, holistic results. However, common challenges for women such as access to education, limited mobility and gender norms have held them back from pursuing careers in more male-oriented industries like the energy sector. In addition, the climate crisis is making women even more vulnerable, especially in disadvantaged communities.

Source: https://europeansting.com/2020/07/08/to-what-extent-can-renewable-energy-empower-women-in-rural-communities/ 

China Hires Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs To Advise on Pipeline Asset Transfers
08 Jul, 2020

Top Chinese energy firms have mandated investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to act as advisers for multi-billion dollar deals transferring oil and gas pipeline assets into a national energy infrastructure giant, four sources said.

Overseen by a government vice premier, underlining the project's importance for Beijing, Beijing aims to complete the asset transfers and start operation of the new entity - valued by industry analysts at more than $40 billion - by the end of September, oil industry officials said.

"The timetable is a moving target but the goal was to complete the (asset) merger by end of July," one person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Source:

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/china-hires-morgan-stanley-goldman-sachs-to-advise-on-pipeline-asset-transfers/76849842 

AESG Predicts “The Perfect Storm” For the Building Sector
08 Jul, 2020

Whilst it is impossible to predict the future, it is clear that the sector is set to go through its greatest transformation since the technological revolution of the late 1800’s that spurred the boom in high rise construction.

So why is this so? When you look at the components that have sparked major transformations to a sector it effectively boils down to 2 factors; the necessity and the means.

If I look at the building and construction sector today, never before have these two forces been as prevalent and I would even go so far as to say the ingredients are in place for a ‘perfect storm’.

Source:

https://www.constructionweekonline.com/business/266230-aesg-predicts-the-perfect-storm-for-the-building-sector 

New Fund Will Pave Way For Multi-Billion Dollar Overhaul Of Water Sector
08 Jul, 2020

A $761 million package for a major overhaul of the country’s ailing water sector was announced today. The money will help councils upgrade creaking infrastructure and services – but they'll have to agree to sweeping changes proposed by the Government to get the cash.

Billions of dollars of investment is urgently needed to ensure drinking water supplies are safe, wastewater is not damaging the environment and to replace ageing and leaking pipes.

The extent of the problem has come under fresh scrutiny since 2016’s Havelock North campylobacter outbreak, which left four people dead and 5500 ill.

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/122062256/new-fund-will-pave-way-for-multibillion-dollar-overhaul-of-water-sector 

Future Cities - Data Scientists Pave The Way To A Clear Vision Of Future Urbanisation
08 Jul, 2020

Fifty four per cent of the world’s population live in cities. Expansion of urban land during the first three decades of the 21st century is predicted to be greater than the cumulative urban expansion in all of human history. To better understand the societal and environmental implications of this growth, scientists have turned to data science to predict urbanisation. 

“Some of the biggest environmental changes we’re seeing nowadays are occurring at a very large scale, over long time periods. To guide urban planning policy, we need accurate models to study the potential impacts of urbanisation in the long term,” says Jing Gao, data scientist at the University of Delaware. 

Gao and her team have developed a computer model that uses 15 of the best global datasets, including accurate satellite data over 40 years, to predict how urbanisation will unfold up to 2100.

Source: http://geographical.co.uk/places/cities/item/3748-future-cities-data-scientists-pave-the-way-to-a-clear-vision-of-urban-futures 

Green Economic Recovery from Corona Pandemic
06 Jul, 2020

The ongoing economic recession due to coronavirus pandemic has created opportunities for countries to replace the standard growth path with the green growth. There is a renewed effort in many developed and developing countries to adopt a green recovery path in the backdrop of economic recession due to Covid-19. This is about reviving the economy through investment on green technology which will not degrade the environment and exhaust natural resources, but will create jobs. The pattern of growth will rely on investment in the environment as a major driver of economic development. This is opposed to the currently followed growth pattern that destroys environmental resources and emits carbon dioxide (CO2).  

Source: https://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/macro-mirror/news/green-economic-recovery-corona-pandemic-1925605 

EU Parliament Adopts Taxonomy Regulation
02 Jul, 2020

In recent years the European Union has paid increasing attention to sustainability in its policy- making particularly in the financial sector. In March 2018 the European Commission published its Action Plan on Financing for Sustainable Growth. The Action Plan has three main objectives:

  • to redirect capital flows towards sustainable investment in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth;
  • to manage financial risks arising from climate change, resource depletion, environmental degradation and social issues; and
  • to promote transparency and long-term sustainability in financial and economic activity.

The European Commission has stressed the importance of having sufficient, reliable and comparable information on sustainability in order effectively to direct capital towards sustainable investments. The Action Plan therefore foresees, as a very first action, the establishment at EU level of a classification system (the 'taxonomy') for sustainable activities in order to provide investors with clear and transparent information on environmental sustainability. The Taxonomy Regulation, adopted on 18 June 2020, is the cornerstone of the Action Plan.

Source: https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=debe63c9-f333-465b-8b99-04ae811818e9 

Global E-Waste Surges 21% in 5 years: UN report
02 Jul, 2020

The world produced a record 53.6 million tons of electronic waste in 2019, the weight of 350 big cruise ships, a UN report said on Thursday. The report said the e-waste – discarded products with a battery or plug – surged 21% over the past five years, predicting that it will reach 74 million tons by 2030, almost a doubling of electronic waste in just 16 years.

E-waste, therefore, is the world's fastest-growing domestic waste stream fueled mainly by higher consumption rates of electric and electronic equipment, short life cycles, and few options for repair. "E-waste is a health and environmental hazard, containing toxic additives or hazardous substances such as mercury, which damages the human brain and coordination system," said the report. "An estimated 50 tonnes of mercury — used in monitors, PCBs [printed circuit boards], and fluorescent and energy-saving light sources — are contained in undocumented flows of e-waste annually."

Source: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/environment/global-e-waste-surges-21-in-5-years-un-report/1897694 

Electric Mobility Could Help Clean the Air And Boost Green Jobs As Part Of The COVID-19 Recovery In Latin America And The Caribbean
02 Jul, 2020

The transition to electric mobility could help Latin America and Caribbean countries to reduce emissions and fulfill their commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change, while generating green jobs as part of their recovery plans from the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new study.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report, “Electric Mobility 2019: Status and Opportunities for Regional Collaboration in Latin America and the Caribbean,” analyzes the latest developments in 20 countries in the region and highlights the growing leadership of cities, companies, and civil associations in promoting new e-mobility technologies.

Source: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/electric-mobility-could-help-clean-air-and-boost-green-jobs-part 

Mapping The Juxtaposition Of Sustainable-Affordable Housing In The Post Covid World
02 Jul, 2020

The pandemic has definitely taken a vice grip of the entire world’s institutional paraphernalia which has severely affected not only the public health mechanisms but also economies across the globe. However, the present piece shall be hovering over an offshoot of this pandemic which has been incessantly ignored by the world at large. The problem in question shall pertain to the issues of affordability as well as sustainability when it comes to housing. Sustainability has been echoed in various international instruments starting from Stockholm Declaration of 1972 to Montreal Protocol in 1987 to Earth Summit in the year 1992[1]. But the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals have put the sustainability debate at the forefront in the international legal regime. But, the inter-relationship of sustainability with the housing mechanism has not been explicitly recognised under the international legal regime.

Source: https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/07/02/mapping-the-juxtaposition-of-sustainable-affordable-housing-in-the-post-covid-world/ 

What Is Green Finance’s Role in The Covid-19 Recovery?
29 Jun, 2020

Governments, central banks and financial institutions each have a role to play in ensuring that massive stimulus packages rolled out to revive Covid 19-stricken economies are channeled into green projects, said finance and responsible investing experts.

Because the carbon and environmental footprint of many investments, especially infrastructure projects, will be locked in for the next few decades, it is important they are designed to be low-carbon from the start, said Dr Ma Jun, director of Tsinghua University’s research centre for green finance development in China.

In a keynote address at the recent United Nations Virtual Forum on Responsible Business and Human Rights, Ma noted that a significant amount of government spending is to stimulate consumption—dishing out coupons to consumers to spend on goods and services, for instance.

Source: https://www.eco-business.com/news/what-is-green-finances-role-in-the-covid-19-recovery/ 

Indonesia and the Netherlands: Solving Global Challenges Together by Finding Smart Solutions for a Sustainable Future
29 Jun, 2020

The Netherlands is keen to partner up with Indonesia to create smart solutions in solving global challenges. Both Indonesia and the Netherlands face common challenges in various fields, such as the impact of climate change on coastal protection and water resources, the accessibility of healthcare, the shift to a circular economy and an increasing pressure on food production systems. Collaboration between the two countries enables exchange of knowledge and expertise in finding smart and innovative solutions together.

Source: https://www.netherlandsandyou.nl/latest-news/news/2020/06/29/indonesia-and-the-netherlands-solving-global-challenges-together 

Spain Underpins Car Sector Bailout with Green Goals
16 Jun, 2020

The Spanish government unveiled on Monday (15 June) a €3.75 billion aid package for the domestic auto industry, which includes a scrappage scheme with green strings, a bigger focus on electric charging points and funding for hydrogen power.

Coronavirus is expected to knock 15% off of Spain’s GDP by the end of the year, according to its national bank, so the government has moved quickly to prop up the sector with a bailout plan that also seeks to make vehicles cleaner in the process.

Although lacking home-grown firms – Seat was sold to Volkswagen in the late 1980s – Spain’s car industry makes up 10% of GDP and 19% of the country’s exports, supporting up to two million people in direct and indirect jobs. In Europe, only Germany produces more vehicles.

Source: https://www.euractiv.com/section/transport/news/spain-underpins-car-sector-bailout-with-green-goals/ 

Climate Change: Green Building Practices For A Sustainable Future
16 Jun, 2020

Over the past several months of lockdown, most of the world has been confined to a major source of emissions: our buildings. They account for more than 40 percent of global energy use and one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UNEP Buildings and Climate Change Report. When closely associated factors like infrastructure and transportation are included, this number continues to rise. And while transportation will undoubtedly begin to increase our carbon emissions once lockdown is lifted, the infrastructure we build and invest in can make all the difference for our future.

Through green building design and construction, we have the opportunity to reduce our impact on the climate and improve the resilience of our communities against climate risk. And India is already a leader at this as the fourth largest market in the world for green building, with significant increases expected in the next three years.

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/science/climate-change-green-building-practices-for-a-sustainable-future/1993130/ 

Bangladesh Looks To Beijing To Speed Its Solar Ambition
09 Jun, 2020

Bangladeshi power minister Nasrul Hamid has said the government has invited China to accelerate the renewable energy ambitions of the South Asian nation because private sector investors were not driving forward solar deployment fast enough.

Welcoming the decision to form a joint venture (JV) between state-owned entities from each nation which will drive 450 MW of new solar capacity and a 50 MW wind farm, Hamid said lack of local investment meant solar power projects still cost $0.10-0.13/kWh in Bangladesh despite marked falls elsewhere in the world.

Bangladesh’s highest decision-making body, the cabinet committee, on Monday approved a joint venture which will see the host nation’s North-West Power Generation Company Limited supply land for clean energy generation. Chinese engineering contractor the National Machinery Import and Export Corporation will invest an estimated $500 million in developing the planned solar and wind facilities, via the new Bangladesh-China Power Company (Pvt) Ltd Renewables entity.

Source: https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/06/09/bangladesh-looks-to-beijing-to-speed-its-solar-ambition/ 

A Million-Mile Battery From China Could Power Your Electric Car
09 Jun, 2020

The Chinese behemoth that makes electric-car batteries for Tesla Inc. and Volkswagen AG developed a power pack that lasts more than a million miles - an industry landmark and a potential boon for automakers trying to sway drivers to their EV models.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. is ready to produce a battery that lasts 16 years and 2 million kilometers (1.24 million miles), Chairman Zeng Yuqun said in an interview at company headquarters in Ningde, southeastern China. Warranties on batteries currently used in electric cars cover about 150,000 miles or eight years, according to BloombergNEF.

Source:

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/a-million-mile-battery-from-china-could-power-your-electric-car/76276323 

What You Need To Know To Take Advantage Of The Green Bond Revolution
08 Jun, 2020

While green bonds are not immune from the broader capital markets disruptions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, the fundamental drivers for long-term growth of the market remain in place.

As the green bond market continues to develop, solar energy industry participants can benefit from a synergy between green bond investor demand and inherent industry characteristics, such as a desire to support investment and growth in renewable resources and reduce CO2 emissions. Potential solar energy participants in the green bond market should understand green bond basics, as well as industry-specific benefits.

Source:

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/06/08/what-you-need-to-know-to-take-advantage-of-the-green-bond-revolution/ 

Greening the Belt and Road: China Daily contributor
05 Jun, 2020

As the pressures of climate change continue to mount, there is an urgent need for a form of growth that embraces conservation. This is particularly important for countries along the Belt and Road routes.

Most countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative are developing countries and emerging economies, and they still rely on extensive economic growth and suffer from the resultant severe air and water pollution.

Their overall carbon emissions have accounted for more than 60 per cent of the global total. 60 per cent of the countries most vulnerable to climate change are participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/greening-the-belt-and-road-china-daily-contributor 

Covid-19 Economics: Beyond Austerity and Debt-Finance
02 Jun, 2020

Talk has already turned to how we’ll deal with the almighty economic blowback impending from the Covid-19 pandemic. The nearest parallel is the financial crisis of 2008 – a story of unregulated market failure that here in the UK the Conservative government somehow succeeded in turning into a story of state failure in the form of the allegedly spendthrift Labour government preceding them. This enabled it to follow low-spending, deficit-cutting austerity policies that, it’s widely acknowledged, only prolonged the economic pain – though it did have the desired effect from the government’s perspective of most hurting the people it cared least about, and generally weakening public institutions to which it was ideologically opposed.

Source: https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-06-02/covid-19-economics-beyond-austerity-and-debt-finance/ 

Requirements For Successful Rainwater Harvesting In Cities
29 May, 2020

In India, millions of people live in cities, and the demand for water is huge. City governments through their water supply arrangements are meeting most of the demand, however, several areas in cities still remain uncovered by government services. Moreover, continuous supply of piped water round the clock is not available. There are many reasons for the occurrence of such problems, including availability of less water with city governments for distribution to consumers, and inefficiencies in water management. Thus, city governments are working towards overall improvement of the urban water supply sector, and are making greater efforts to arrange more water from different sources, such as rivers, lakes, canals, rainfall, and groundwater.

Source:

https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/requirements-for-successful-rainwater-harvesting-in-cities-67010/ 

Pardubice Launches A Sustainable Mobility Plan
27 May, 2020

ParduPlán is based on a detailed analysis of transport, which includes surveys of all roads in the Czech city, data collection, public involvement and the creation of a transport model. Its goal is the creation of a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly transport in the city.

As the Mayor of the city Martin Charvát quoted by the municipal portal explained, “an efficient urban transport system is essential for the healthy economic and social development of life in the city” and “all world cities, which are a symbol of high quality of life, work with strategic documents, an integral part of which is transport and its organisation”.

The elaboration of a sustainable mobility plan will also be a necessary condition for obtaining European funds after 2021 by cities with more than 40,000 inhabitants, explained Petr Kvaš, Deputy Minister for Transport.

Source: https://www.themayor.eu/en/pardubice-launches-a-sustainable-mobility-plan 

Europe's Moment: Repair And Prepare For The Next Generation
27 May, 2020

Today, the European Commission has put forward its proposal for a major recovery plan. To ensure the recovery is sustainable, even, inclusive and fair for all Member States, the European Commission is proposing to create a new recovery instrument, Next Generation EU, embedded within a powerful, modern and revamped long-term EU budget. The Commission has also unveiled its adjusted Work Programme for 2020, which will prioritise the actions needed to propel Europe's recovery and resilience.

The coronavirus has shaken Europe and the world to its core, testing healthcare and welfare systems, our societies and economies and our way of living and working together. To protect lives and livelihoods, repair the Single Market, as well as to build a lasting and prosperous recovery, the European Commission is proposing to harness the full potential of the EU budget. Next Generation EU of €750 billion as well as targeted reinforcements to the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027 will bring the total financial firepower of the EU budget to €1.85 trillion.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_940 

Pay Waste Management Service Providers Fairly Amid Covid-19 Pandemic: MOM
26 May, 2020

Organisations that engage waste management services should continue to pay service providers appropriately and exercise restraint in penalising them, in order to ensure that the sector remains sustainable amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

These were among the recommendations made in a tripartite advisory issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) on Tuesday (May 26).

It added that service buyers play a critical role in ensuring the sustainability of waste management service providers, as well as the sector as a whole.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/pay-waste-management-service-providers-fairly-amid-covid-19-pandemic-mom 

The Case For Green Buildings In The COVID-19 Recovery
26 May, 2020

Europe’s buildings are mostly old and inefficient, and the way we use them is changing as our economies and lifestyles shift in a world recovering from COVID-19.

They are also a huge store of wealth: our homes are worth an estimated €17 trillion – more than the EU’s GDP. It’s time to translate some of these savings into investments and modernise where we live and work.

We can cut down energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions, improve comfort and health, and support Europe’s 18 million construction workers by building a green recovery.

Source:

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/the-case-for-green-buildings-in-the-covid-19-recovery/ 

EGYPT: $1.8 Million To Protect Waste Management Professionals In 4 Governorates
22 May, 2020

Through the National Solid Waste Management Programme (NSWMP) in Egypt, workers in the waste sector will be better protected in their daily work. Following a videoconference with officials, relevant governors and development partners, Egypt’s Minister of Environment announced £29 million ($1.8 million) to protect workers in the waste sector.

The funding covers the governorates of Kafr El-Sheikh, Gharbeya, Qena and Assiut. According to the minister, Yasmine Fouad, this emergency envelope is intended to protect workers against the spread of Covid-19. Egypt’s Environment Minister also indicated that the next phase of the NSWMP programme would be the maintenance of waste management facilities, including recycling plants and landfills.

Source: https://www.afrik21.africa/en/egypt-1-8-million-to-protect-waste-management-professionals-in-4-governorates/ 

Calarasi Will Have New Intermodal Transport Terminal
21 May, 2020

The City Hall of Călărași has signed a new contract for European funding, within Axis 4 “Supporting sustainable urban development” of the Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020, informed the press office of the Romanian municipality. The project is named “Reducing CO2 emissions in the urban area by building an intermodal transport terminal in the western area (SIDERCA) of Călăraşi Municipality”

Thanks to the project, important infrastructural challenges on the territory of the municipality will be solved. The main activities of the project include:

  • Construction of an administrative building, with an area of 277.5 sqm, to house the main functions necessary for the operation of an intermodal terminal;
  • Construction of four platforms;
  • Outfitting an above-ground parking lot for 37 cars, 4 bus seats and a bicycle rack;
  • Arrangement of a free space adjacent to the parking space, with green areas, alleys, and street furniture;
  • Establishment of an IT access control system specially designed and optimized for monitoring the entrances and exits of cars and to ensure the transfer between private car and local public transport, bicycles, walking.

Source: https://www.themayor.eu/en/calarasi-will-have-new-intermodal-transport-terminal 

Pandemic And The Lessons For Global Metro Cities
19 May, 2020

Across the world, cities are on the frontline of the unfolding COVID-19 crisis. Starting from metro cities with overwhelmed heath care systems, they are experiencing unprecedented strain across social, economic and environmental systems as economies grind to a standstill. Public transit systems are in a financial tailspin. Already a challenge at the best of times, the struggle to provide even basic access to water and sewerage is now especially acute in many growing cities across the global south. Daily wage earners and the urban poor of all stripes are suffering the most from the dual blows of lost income and a scarcity of city services and social safety nets that can protect them at a time of need.

Source:

https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/05/19/pandemic-and-the-lessons-for-global-metro-cities/

Norway And The A-Ha Moment That Made Electric Cars The Answer
19 May, 2020

In 1995, the lead singer of the 1980s band A-ha and the head of the Norwegian environmental group Bellona climbed improbably into a converted electric Fiat Panda they had imported from Switzerland and set off on a road trip.

They drove around Oslo refusing to pay the city’s sky-high road tolls, parking illegally wherever they could, and ignoring every penalty notice they were given. Eventually, the authorities impounded their car and auctioned it off to cover the fines.

But the stunt attracted massive media attention, and the point was made. Soon after, electric vehicles were exempted from road tolls, one of a large raft of incentives that have, over the years, helped make Norway the country with the world’s highest per capita electric vehicle ownership.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/19/norway-and-the-a-ha-moment-that-made-electric-cars-the-answer 

The Role Of BRI In Building A Global Healthcare System
16 May, 2020

As was discussed in a webinar on the Health Silk Road organized recently in the Swedish capital Stockholm by the Belt and Road Institute in Sweden, speakers noted that the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the unpreparedness of most countries in the world, including in the advanced sector, to face such a crisis in terms of the physical requirements such as hospital beds, intensive care units beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, disinfectants, medicines, and testing equipment and materials. There are many reasons for this shortcoming, but the obvious answer is building an infrastructure and industrial capacity that can cope with such emergencies.

Source: https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1188547.shtml 

Report: Clean Energy Technologies Could Be Unaffected By Covid-19
13 May, 2020

Law firm Ashurst has released a report into a number of emerging technologies in the energy sector, such as electric vehicles and battery storage, highlighting key trends across the power sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Among their findings, Ashurst does not expect interest and investment in these fields to decline despite ongoing uncertainties. 

The report, ‘Powering Change – Energy in Transition’ polled more than 2,000 “senior business leaders” from across G20 member states concerning their investment in new energy technologies. Battery storage and electric vehicles were the most popular investments, with 46% and 43% of respondents investing in these projects respectively, while two-thirds of Indian respondents had made investments into electric vehicles alone.

Source: https://www.power-technology.com/news/report-clean-energy-technologies-could-be-unaffected-by-covid-19/ 

Clean Energy Is Now A Hot Investment
08 May, 2020

Green economists have combined forces in an Oxford University paper to identify environmentally friendly public investments with quick positive economic effects. The authors, including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, examined 700 stimulus policies enacted since 2008 and surveyed 230 finance ministers, central bank officials, academics and other experts from 53 countries.

Only five of 25 categories of stimulus spending had both positive climate impact and a high multiplier effect, the report said, meaning most recent stimulus measures either hurt the climate or helped the climate without spreading wider benefits, such as lasting jobs. When done right, the authors said green projects “create more jobs, deliver higher short-term returns per dollar spend and lead to increased long-term cost savings” when compared to traditional fiscal stimulus. Some of the most useful green investments overall were reported to be: clean energy, digital infrastructure and energy efficient building retrofits.

Source: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/08/clean-energy-is-now-a-hot-investment-241868 

How The Coronavirus Recovery Effort Can Support A European Green Deal
07 May, 2020

The need for a significant stimulus to prevent a protracted economic downturn arrives at a time when voices calling for increased investment to tackle climate change are also on the rise. Rather than being at odds, the two challenges can be addressed simultaneously, with coordinated planning around a Green New Deal that tackles short-term economic needs with long-term sustainability goals. 

Discussions of a Green New Deal—extensive government spending and public works to decarbonise the economy while addressing key social and economic concerns around the transition—were already gaining momentum prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the end of 2019, the European Commission proposed a ‘Green Deal’ – a framework of regulation and legislation to achieve the EU’s targets of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and a 50%-55% cut in emissions from 1990 levels by 2030.

Source: https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/05/07/coronavirus-recovery-effort-can-support-european-green-deal/ 

Coronavirus Impact Lays Bare Inflexibility Of German Power Generation And Demand
07 May, 2020

Slumping power demand due to the coronavirus crisis combined with April’s strong wind and solar power production have revealed that Germany’s fossil and renewable electricity generation, as well as electricity demand, need to become much more flexible, experts say. While the grid coped well with an unusually high share of renewable power, low demand in neighbouring countries meant that Germany could not export as much excess electricity as usual, resulting in record negative power prices. 

The coronavirus crisis subjected Germany’s electricity system to an unplanned stress test in April. While power demand fell during the pandemic because much of the economy lay idle, sunny and windy weather led to strong renewable power production. This prompted wholesale power prices to repeatedly fall deep into negative territory – meaning that electricity producers rather paid wholesale customers to use the power they generated than turning off plants because it was less costly – revealing the inflexibility of the country’s electricity generation and demand, experts say.

Source: https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/coronavirus-impact-lays-bare-inflexibility-german-power-generation-and-demand 

Waste In Some Landfills Is Down, But So Is Recycling. Here’s Why
07 May, 2020

You may have noticed your trash can is filling up faster than it did before stay-at-home orders. That’s happening across LA. 

We have seen an increase in the residential waste being collected by about 10-15%,” says Alex Helou, Assistant General Manager for Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment. He says that’s on top of the 3,600 tons of trash the city collects in a typical day.

More time at home means more time to make garbage. That’s why LA Mayor Eric Garcetti started letting residents stand by their full bins and dump extra bags for free when the trash truck came around. Officials in LA County are seeing the same trend. This isn’t surprising with all the safety protocols and masks and gloves that many people are required to wear during COVID-19.

Source: https://www.kcrw.com/news/shows/greater-la/coronavirus-recycling-usns-bioluminescence/covid-trash-recycling 

Green Bonds Gain Popularity, A Defensive Bet As Coronavirus Pandemic Weighs On Markets, Investment Managers Say
04 May, 2020

As banks and other publicly traded companies face pressure to demonstrate the measures, they are taking to address climate change, green bonds are gaining popularity among issuers and investors in the Asia-Pacific region, in part because of their defensive tilt, according to investment managers.

Green bonds – fixed income products designed to fund projects that are positive for the environment – held up better than investment-grade corporate credit during the recent sell-off in the financial markets as the coronavirus pandemic weighed on the global economic outlook, according to Thomas Wacker, head of credit in UBS Global Wealth Management’s chief investment office.

Source: https://www.scmp.com/business/banking-finance/article/3082693/green-bonds-gain-popularity-defensive-bet-coronavirus 

Tbilisi Metro Set For Timely Upgrade
04 May, 2020

There is a lot to like about the Tbilisi metro. For a start, the colourful card used to access to the system (and Tbilisi’s buses) is enormously pleasing on the eye, although some purists regret the loss of the small plastic tokens the card replaced. 

Its deep, cavernous stations – though not as ornate as those in Moscow – are also in large part pleasing on the eye, although many are poorly lit and in need of repair. In January 2018, 14 people were injured when a ceiling collapsed at Varketili station. 

Tbilisi’s metro is showing its age. Much of the system dates from two major Soviet-era construction projects (from 1966 and 1979) and the rolling stock is old. In recent years, surface-level public transport in the city has seen the bulk of new investment, with the metro somewhat neglected.

Source: https://emerging-europe.com/news/tbilisi-metro-set-for-timely-upgrade/ 

How Life in Our Cities Will Look After the Coronavirus Pandemic
01 May, 2020

Cities are at the center of this pandemic, as they have been during so many plagues in history. The virus originated in a crowded city in central China. It spread between cities and has taken the most lives in cities. New York has become the world’s saddest, most dismal viral hotspot.

Hunkered down at home, rarely venturing into hauntingly empty streets, most of us are still at a loss at how urban life will look afterwards. Will restaurants survive and jobs come back? Will people still travel in crowded subways? Do we even need office towers when everyone is on Zoom? Come to think of it, the idea of living on a farm seems suddenly attractive.

Cities thrive on the opportunities for work and play, and on the endless variety of available goods and services. If fear of disease becomes the new normal, cities could be in for a bland and antiseptic future, perhaps even a dystopian one. But if the world’s cities find ways to adjust, as they always have in the past, their greatest era may yet lie before them.

Source: https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/05/01/future-of-cities-urban-life-after-coronavirus-pandemic/ 

Water Should Be A Public Good, Not A Commodity. Catalonia Is Showing How
30 Apr, 2020

Despite being a public good, water is often treated as a commodity. While some argue that privatisation of water increases efficiency and improves the quality of water services, the negative effects in terms of loss of accountability, poor performance, and elevated utility costs are well documented. As the corona virus makes its way into poor and vulnerable communities, we are yet again reminded of the devastating impact that these have on people’s lives. When your ability to protect yourself from infectious disease is determined by your access to safe and affordable water, water service provision is not a matter of convenience – it is a matter of life and death. Worldwide, civil society organisations (CSOs) and grassroots movements therefore argue that water management should not be handled by private companies. Instead, water services and policy need to be democratised and placed under public control.

Source: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/water-should-be-public-good-not-commodity-catalonia-showing-how/ 

Climate Change Threatens Drinking Water Quality Across The Great Lakes
29 Apr, 2020

“Do Not Drink/Do Not Boil” is not what anyone wants to hear about their city’s tap water. But the combined effects of climate change and degraded water quality could make such warnings more frequent across the Great Lakes region. 

A preview occurred on July 31, 2014, when a nasty green slime – properly known as a harmful algal bloom, or HAB – developed in the western basin of Lake Erie. Before long it had overwhelmed the Toledo Water Intake Crib, which provides drinking water to nearly 500,000 people in and around the city. 

Tests revealed that the algae were producing microcystin, a sometimes-deadly liver toxin and suspected carcinogen. Unlike some other toxins, microcystin can’t be rendered harmless by boiling. So, the city issued a “Do Not Drink/Do Not Boil” order that set off a three-day crisis.

Source: https://theconversation.com/climate-change-threatens-drinking-water-quality-across-the-great-lakes-131883 

Poland Warns Of Drying Funds For Clean Energy Projects
28 Apr, 2020

The economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will make it “more difficult” to reach Europe’s long-term climate objectives, Poland said in a paper circulated to other EU countries ahead of an informal video meeting of energy ministers on Tuesday (28 April). The paper, obtained by EURACTIV, said that the coronavirus crisis “may lead to undermining energy security and the speed of clean energy transitions”.

“We can already see delays in the implementation of energy projects caused by the disruption of supply chains,” the paper said, warning of drying investments in renewable energy as a result.

Border shutdowns decided at the beginning of the virus outbreak have disrupted the energy sector, causing the oil price to crash, and disrupting value chains in clean energy technologies such as wind and solar.

Source: https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/poland-warns-of-drying-funds-for-clean-energy-projects/ 

Indonesia Unveils Action Plan To Prevent 16 Million Tonnes Of Plastic From Entering The Ocean
28 Apr, 2020

A diverse community of plastic pollution action leaders across Indonesia’s public, private and civil society sectors released a joint Action Plan for combatting plastic pollution and waste.

The strategy document, “Radically Reducing Plastic Pollution in Indonesia: A Multi-stakeholder Action Plan,” lays out an evidence-based roadmap towards reducing the amount of plastic leakage (mismanaged plastic waste) into Indonesia’s coastal waters by 70% by 2025, as well as achieving near-zero plastic pollution by 2040 through transitioning to a circular economy for plastics.

The Action Plan compares two possible outcomes for Indonesia: one is the ‘business as usual’ scenario, in which plastic pollution is projected to increase by one-third by 2025 and more than double by 2040, if no action is taken. The other is the System Change Scenario, which would enact a series of ambitious, society-wide transformations.

Source: https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/04/28/indonesia-unveils-action-plan-to-prevent-16-million-tonnes-of-plastic-from-entering-the-ocean/ 

The Green Road To Post-Crisis Recovery
24 Apr, 2020

Even for rich countries, the road to economic recovery from coronavirus will be a steep one. For emerging markets, it will be steeper still. High debt, disruptions to foreign investment, and weaker social safety nets will make them more vulnerable. Increased unemployment and a fall in remittances from migrant workers will add to the pressure. 

Given such headwinds, it may seem only reasonable for developing countries to set aside their plans to reduce carbon emissions. Isn’t survival the priority — and shouldn’t advocates of environmental sustainability discreetly step aside? On the contrary: recovery and, for that matter, long-term prosperity go hand-in-hand with sustainability.

Source: https://www.ft.com/content/16d84fbc-74fe-11ea-90ce-5fb6c07a27f2 

Architects To Take Part In Cool Abu Dhabi Contest
21 Apr, 2020

Leading designers, architects, engineers and landscape architects will be presenting their creative ideas on how to improve outdoor thermal comfort in public spaces at the “Cool Abu Dhabi” competition, being hosted by Abu Dhabi's Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) with prize money worth $100,000. 

 The key focus of the global creative ideas’ competition is to improve outdoor thermal comfort in public spaces by mitigating the impact of the Urban Heat Island Effect in the city. 

Outdoor thermal comfort conditions influence several choices that inhabitants make every single day - to walk to a local shop, take public transit, cycle, eat outside at a restaurant, talk with colleagues, friends, and neighbors or simply go to a park, said experts.

Source: http://www.tradearabia.com/news/CONS_366962.html 

Deutsche Bank Forms Sustainable Finance Team for Capital Markets
20 Apr, 2020

Deutsche Bank AG has set up a dedicated sustainable finance team within its capital markets division in response to the growing focus on environmental, social and governance issues among its clients.

The German lender has hired Trisha Taneja from Sustainalytics to lead the team, which will operate within its existing capital solutions and sustainable financing group, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg. Green and social financing has become an increasingly competitive sector globally as the fight against climate change steps up.

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-20/deutsche-bank-forms-sustainable-finance-team-for-capital-markets 

EU States Urged To Raise Green Investment Ambitions
20 Apr, 2020

EU member states need to commit more funding to renewables investments, according to a new report. “Funding climate and energy transition in the EU: the untapped potential of regional funds”, published by Brussels-based NGO Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, found only 9.7% of current EU funds for 2014-2020 have been invested in clean energy infrastructure.

Member states must “urgently review” the way they spend the future 2021-2027 EU budget if they are serious about achieving climate neutrality in practice while rolling-out long-term investments which can stimulate the sustainable economic recovery, said the NGO. The report noted economic support measures currently being developed and discussed are “much needed” in the fight against the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

Source: https://renews.biz/59772/eu-states-urged-to-lift-renewables-financing-ambitions/ 

Building Renovations Can Unleash Future-Proof Jobs For A Green Recovery
17 Apr, 2020

The world is facing an unprecedented crisis with the coronavirus pandemic and the immediate focus is rightly on saving lives and slowing down the spread of the virus. But it doesn’t mean that we should forget our efforts to stop the climate crisis. The impacts of climate breakdown continue to be felt all over the world and, as is the case with the health crisis, the most vulnerable are hit the hardest.

In times of extraordinary emergencies such as the one we are living through, all efforts must be focused on mobilising resources at a pace and magnitude needed to tackle multiple challenges. In the EU, the European Central Bank has announced a €750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program and national governments are preparing stimulus packages worth billions of euros. On 9 April, EU Finance Ministers agreed on unlocking a €540 billion support package, while the European Commission will soon propose a recovery strategy.

Source: https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/building-renovations-can-unleash-future-proof-jobs-for-a-green-recovery/ 

Why Chinese Asset Owners Should Act On Climate
16 Apr, 2020

Last month, the overseas asset management arm of Ping An Insurance Group became the first Asian institutional investor to partner with the Climate Bonds Initiative, a UK-based advocate for green bonds. That followed the group becoming the first Chinese asset owner to join the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment in 2019. It later also signed up for the Climate Action 100+ initiative, which brings together investors who aspire to raise corporate climate commitments of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in their portfolios.

Ping An’s actions have added it to a short list of Chinese asset owners with a public commitment to climate action, and it is the only Chinese insurance company to have issued a coal phase-out plan. It is time for other Chinese asset owners to act too.

Source: https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11963-Why-Chinese-asset-owners-should-act-on-climate 

Is China Leading the Global Recovery?
06 Apr, 2020

As the first country to report the cases of Covid-19 and the first to implement lockdown measures, many western countries have taken their cue from China in how to handle the virus's spread. It could be that the Asian powerhouse also provides the clues for how a recovery could look.

The Chinese stock market plunged at the end of January as the government locked down the Hubei province in an attempt stop the coronavirus spreading. The rest of the world looked on in horror.

Just weeks later, however, and already there is evidence that the economy is bouncing back and green shoots of recovery are appearing across many sectors. Indeed, Chinese-focused funds have already started to claw their way back towards positive territory, after a tough start to the year.

Source: https://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/news/201235/is-china-leading-the-global-recovery.aspx 

India’s Clean Energy Development Faces Delays Due To COVID-19 Lockdown
06 Apr, 2020

According to Wood Mackenzie principal analyst Robert Liew, “The timing of the lockdown is unfortunate as Q1 is typically one of the busiest periods for wind project installations. The lockdown will delay some projects until summer, and if the lockdown is extended past April, wind farm construction could be further delayed into the monsoon season, where wind installations are typically at their lowest.”

With over 3GW of wind projects under construction scheduled for 2020 completion, supply and labour disruptions from the current lockdown could delay 400MW into 2021, equating to a downgrade of 11% for 2020.

Similar to the wind sector, India’s solar PV installations are expected to be hit hard as the industry is heavily dependent on Chinese PV module imports (80% of total volume) which has been disrupted due to the coronavirus.

Source: https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/business-finance-regulation/indias-clean-energy-development-faces-delays-due-to-covid-19-lockdown/ 

New India needs a Grand Reconstruction Budget
04 Apr, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has morphed into a global economic crisis. All activity is grinding to a halt with unemployment on the rise. Stock market value has declined by more than USD 27 trillion. The United Nations predicts that the world economy will go into recession in FY’21 with an anticipated loss of trillions of dollars of global income. IMF has announced a negative-growth forecast. Oil prices have fallen to historic lows. The world order is in flux.

The GOI has taken a bold decision to prioritise the lives of its citizens and face the consequences of the economic fallout. This leadership has undoubtedly helped mitigate the spread of the infection in the country. Many other countries have delayed this decision with debates on compromising economic activity in the face of higher infection risk. Regardless, it is evident that all nations will face an unprecedentedly different global economic paradigm than the one merely two months ago.

Source: https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/new-india-needs-grand-reconstruction-budget 

Orchestrating the Energy Transition: Tuning into Buildings
02 Apr, 2020

The transition to clean energy is akin to the entire world participating in a symphony. Each player has a critical role, timing is essential, and all parts must come together deftly in order to execute this masterpiece. 

But this is no idle exercise in orchestration. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has declared that this transition must occur within the next 10 years to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avert a global climate catastrophe. Many sectors will have a role to play, including an evolving building sector and, in particular, a growing energy services company (ESCO) industry.

The building sector contributes 39 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions. Rocky Mountain Institute’s assessment is that for the buildings sector, playing its part in the energy transition means achieving a 50 percent reduction in global building emissions by 2030 and achieving zero-carbon emissions from buildings by 2050.

Source: https://www.greenbiz.com/article/orchestrating-energy-transition-tuning-buildings 

China's War on Garbage Faces a Major Coronavirus Setback
01 Apr, 2020

China’s lockdown may have reduces air pollution as factories and power plants halted, but the pandemic has had the opposite effect on the nation’s nascent recycling effort.

Millions of people in Chinese cities have been stuck at home for weeks, relying on food deliveries and online shopping, resulting in a surge in demand for single-use plastic containers and packaging.

Unlike the drop in emissions, which is proving temporary as factories restart, the rise in food deliveries may be more long-lived because people get used to the convenience, said Professor Huang Qunxing, who studies solid waste disposal and clean energy at Zhejiang University.

Source: https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/chinas-war-on-garbage-faces-a-major-coronavirus-setback 

South Africa’s Response To COVID-19 Worsens the Plight of Waste Reclaimers
01 Apr, 2020

Lockdowns to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus are dramatically transforming people’s daily lives across the world. One thing that remains unchanged is that we continue to produce massive amounts of waste each day. 

South Africa generates 59 million tonnes of general waste a year. As only 10,8% of urban households separate their waste, most of the recyclable items get thrown away. Yet the country has recycling rates comparable to European countries for some materials.

South Africa’s 60,000 to 90,000 reclaimers collect an astonishing 80% to 90% of used packaging and paper that are recycled, providing crucial inputs for production and saving municipalities up to R750 million a year (US$41.7 million) in potential landfill costs.

Source: http://theconversation.com/south-africas-response-to-covid-19-worsens-the-plight-of-waste-reclaimers-135072 

Road Transport Body Sees 800 Bln Euros In Losses Amid Coronavirus
01 Apr, 2020

A global road transport body said on Tuesday it expects the sector to suffer losses of at least 800 billion euros ($880 billion) over the next year due to falling global trade amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Freight movements by road are already down about 30-40%, said Umberto de Pretto, Secretary General of the International Road Transport Union (IRU), and have been exacerbated by what he called “nonsensical” border restrictions. Coach tourism has been decimated, he said. 

“Looking just at the road transport sector globally, we believe this could have an impact of, and this is a very conservative figure, of 800 billion euros,” de Pretto told journalists in a virtual briefing from Geneva.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-transportation/road-transport-body-sees-800-bln-euros-in-losses-amid-coronavirus-idUSL8N2BO7AT 

Financing Architecture for Green Buildings in India
24 Mar, 2020

India has the second largest urban population in the world and this is expected to double by 2050, with the addition of 416 million people. Concurrently with 70 percent (IFC estimates) of the buildings (housing, retail, commercial, hospitality and health) needed by 2030 still to be constructed, India’s construction sector is at an inflection point – an opportunity for energy efficiency expansion by building green.. Residential and commercial buildings in India account for 30 percent of the energy consumption. This is expected to increase to 48% by 2042. Given that certified green buildings can deliver energy savings between 20-30 percent and water savings of up to 30-50 percent, India should attach greater importance to high-performing green buildings, as it strives to reduce green house emissions by 33-35% (from 2005 levels).

Source: https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/financing-architecture-for-green-buildings-in-india-63650/ 

What’s Being Done to Fix Water Scarcity in Asia’s Most Water-Stressed Countries?
22 Mar, 2020

This year’s World Water Day on 22 March is a hard-hitting reminder that with less than a decade left to reach the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6, of delivering clean water and sanitation to all, 2.2 billion people still lack access to safely managed drinking water. From agriculture to energy and food production, healthy ecosystems and human survival itself, the global demand for freshwater is soaring while supply becomes more uncertain.

Water scarcity is particularly acute in Asia as rapid population growth, industrial development and urbanisation heightens the water crisis in the largest and most populous continent. Home to 4.5 billion people, the Asian population uses around 65 per cent of the world’s water supply. Agriculture accounts for the largest use of water, followed by industrial and municipal uses.

Source: https://www.eco-business.com/news/whats-being-done-to-fix-water-scarcity-in-asias-most-water-stressed-countries/

Asia’s Central Banks Must Rise to the Challenge of Climate Change
16 Mar, 2020

Climate change is already a reality. The deadly bushfires in Australia, ferocious flooding in Indonesia and extended droughts in Vietnam have led to the destruction of infrastructure, investments and livelihoods. Yet across Asia, acceptance of this reality has not yet changed consumer behaviors across the region. 

After a temporary slowdown in the past five years, greenhouse gas emissions rose to a historical high of 33.1 billion tons in 2018. Globally, fossil fuel-related carbon emissions rose by 1.7% from the previous year. There is a sustained increase in coal, oil and gas consumption in China, India and ASEAN, pointing to a seeming neglect of climate change concerns as Asia chases faster economic growth.

Source: https://www.brinknews.com/asias-central-banks-must-rise-to-the-challenge-of-climate-change/

For Wind and Solar Sectors, Biggest Coronavirus Risk May Be a Damaged Economy
March 15, 2020

15 Mar, 2020

It seemed that nothing could slow the global renewable-energy juggernaut. Nothing, that is, until COVID-19. From the solar factory floors of China’s Jiangsu province to wind farm country in West Texas, the clean-energy industries are struggling to gauge the potential damage that lies ahead — and it’s not a pretty picture.

Just a few weeks ago, the biggest COVID-19 concern for renewable energy appeared to be the supply of equipment, reflecting the outbreak’s early impact in China. Would there be enough solar panels, wind turbines and batteries to meet demand and project deadlines, given the widespread factory shutdowns?

But after a wild few days of escalating infection numbers and increasingly frantic government responses in Europe and the U.S., the focus is quickly shifting to demand, as the reality dawns that a global economic slowdown may be inevitable.

Source: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/for-clean-energy-industries-biggest-coronavirus-risk-may-be-a-damaged-economy 

Electric Buses Offer Latin American And Caribbean Transport Green and Profitable Future
12 Mar, 2020

As part of a region-wide effort to align with the Paris Agreement objectives, generate growth, create jobs and ensure a just transition, local and national transportation departments and private operators are investing in and now delivering clean public buses.

As well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, these efforts aims to improve quality of life for commuters as electric buses are significantly quieter, more comfortable, and will reduce deadly air pollution which afflicts urban areas.

In capital cities like Bogotá, Lima, and Santiago, there are very high concentrations of PM 2.5; tiny suspended particles which can cause premature death, respiratory diseases, and cancer. Electric buses on the other hand release zero tail-pipe emissions.

Source: https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/03/12/electric-buses-offer-latin-american-caribbean-transport-green-profitable-future/ 

Let the Water Flow, Quickly
12 Mar, 2020

There is marked turbulence in India’s stressed water economy. A recent report by the ministry of earth sciences (MoES) shows a ‘significant’ drop in rainfall in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal over the past three decades, and rising variability in the monsoons nationwide. Yet, policy circles seem to be missing its ripple effect. The way forward is to policy-induce and shore up follow-through action, both at the Centre and the states.

Resources to address the water crisis must be stepped up. Rational pricing of water can no longer remain buried in forgotten policy papers. Per-capita water availability has been falling by leaps and bounds for years. And the proposed National Water Framework Bill needs legislating; river rejuvenation ought to be a policy priority. India has the dubious distinction of being the world’s largest user of groundwater by far, even as the water table has been falling by an average of 0.4 m nationally. But averages can be very deceptive in water. Reports from Bihar suggest that the water table there has fallen by several feet of late. Well, over half our districts are now known to be witnessing serious groundwater over-exploitation.

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/blogs/figuringitout/let-the-water-flow-quickly/ 

China’s Poorly Planned Cities: Urban Sprawl and The Rural Underclass Left Behind
11 Mar, 2020

In recent years, Chinese urban planning and design has often captured international media attention and drawn ridicule. Photo essays have depicted a wide range of urban trends, including tourist theme parks staffed by dwarfs, oversized buildings resembling human figures and inanimate objects, dozens of so-called “copycat towns” modeled on famous foreign cities, and, perhaps most notably, China’s vast “ghost towns,” which are expansive futuristic cities with hardly any residents. Unfortunately, scant attention has been paid to the most serious problem inflicted on China’s cities: urban sprawl.

Urban sprawl, most commonly defined as dispersed, excessive, and wasteful outward urban growth, occurs when urban spatial expansion outstrips the rate of population growth. While in the United States and other Western countries, urban sprawl is often characterized by the growth of suburbs filled with single-family homes, in China, cities are often developed well beyond the urban core, leaving vacant sections in between and requiring the expansion of infrastructure.

Source: https://signal.supchina.com/chinas-poorly-planned-cities-urban-sprawl-and-the-rural-underclass-left-behind/

India-EU Partnership on Energy Research in RE and Smart Grids
09 Mar, 2020

India-European Union (EU) Flagship Call on Integrated Local Energy Systems was announced at India Smart Utility Week 2020. This partnership between Indian and the EU will help in Clean Energy and Climate and this partnership will foresee strengthened cooperation in energy research and innovation, mainly in renewable energy and its integration in the energy system. The collaboration can make energy supply cleaner, more efficient and affordable to all.

This Indo-EU flagship call is fully in line with both the European Union’s and India’s involvement in Mission Innovation (MI), a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union), committed to reinvigorate and accelerate global clean energy innovation with the objective to make clean energy widely affordable. This Indo-EU Flagship call is expected to give novel solutions encompassing local integration across various energy vectors and increase the share of renewables in the energy mix and high energy efficiency.

Source: https://www.saurenergy.com/solar-energy-news/india-eu-partnership-on-energy-research-in-re-and-smart-grids 

Recykal: Making Money from India’s Huge Waste Problem
09 Mar, 2020

One alarming spillover of India’s remarkable growth story is the fact that its growing population, coupled with rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, has resulted in spiraling levels of civic and industrial waste being generated. 

India, the world’s fifth-largest economy, currently generates 62 million tons of waste (both recyclable and non-recyclable) every year, according to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (GoI). 

With an average annual growth rate of 4%, this inextricably intertwined by product of industrialization poses far reaching ramifications of urban pollution, public health and hygiene. The US Public Health Service has identified 22 human diseases that are linked to improper solid waste management. Multiple studies have demonstrated a link between garbage burning and diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and heart attack. Garbage burning, which is classified as the third biggest cause of greenhouse emission in the country, is responsible for releasing carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and carcinogenic hydrocarbons, along with particulate matter into the air, states a recent Assoham-EY report.

Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/features/recykal-making-money-from-indias-huge-waste-problem/articleshow/74546955.cms 

Commission Proposes 2021 To Be the European Year of Rail
07 Mar, 2020

The Commission has proposed today to make 2021 the European Year of Rail, to support the delivery of its European Green Deal objectives in the transport field. A series of events, campaigns and initiatives in 2021 will promote rail as a sustainable, innovative and safe mode of transport. It will highlight its benefits for people, the economy and the climate and focus on the remaining challenges to create a true Single European Rail Area without borders.

Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean, announcing today’s proposal, said: “There’s no doubt that railway transport means huge benefits in most areas: sustainability, safety, even speed, once it’s organised and engineered according to 21st century principles. But there’s also something more profound about railways: they connect the EU together not only in physical terms. Setting up a coherent and functional network across all Europe is an exercise in political cohesion. The European Year of Rail is not a random event. It comes at an appropriate time, when the EU needs this kind of collective undertaking.”

Source: https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/03/07/commission-proposes-2021-to-be-the-european-year-of-rail/

Hydrogen Mobility: Coming Soon to a Bus or Truck Near You?
06 Mar, 2020

Hydrogen could have a significant impact on the transportation sector, even though sales of fuel-cell cars have been minuscule to date.

More than 9 million hydrogen fuel-cell passenger vehicles could be built to support aggressive targets in markets such as California, China, Japan and South Korea, according to a new market report published by Wood Mackenzie.

In the short term, however, hydrogen is more likely to be used for heavier vehicles such as buses and heavy-duty trucks, said report author Ben Gallagher, a subject-matter expert in carbon and emerging technology for Wood Mackenzie's Energy Transition Practice.

As it stands, hydrogen fuel cells have barely registered an impact on the global automotive market. WoodMac estimates there were around 17,000 hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles on the road worldwide at the end of last year, nearly half of them in the U.S.

Source: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/hydrogen-mobility-coming-soon-to-a-bus-or-truck-near-you 

Single-Use Plastic Bans, Taxes Are on The Rise Around the World
03 Mar, 2020

On March 1, New York became the second U.S. state to ban plastic bags. The ban in California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, has reduced disposable plastic bag usage by as much as 80%. 

A San Francisco analyst on the city's zero-waste initiative told the San Francisco Chronicle that there's often confusion as to why stores are still using plastic bags at all, as customers are often unaware that thicker bags can be reused. 

Likewise, in addition to New York state and the city of San Francisco, hundreds of other cities in the United States have taken similar steps to reduce single-use plastic. 

The various forms of legislation and regulation are meant to limit and even eliminate single-use plastic bags through bans or taxes on them.

Source: http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/single-use-plastic-bans-taxes-are-on-the-rise-around-the-world/business-management-services-risk-management 

When Canals Run Dry: Displacement Triggered by Water Stress in The South of Iraq
27 Feb, 2020

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) embarked on a new research programme in December 2018 to investigate internal displacement associated with slow-onset environmental change.

The convergence of governance gaps and environmental change is undermining the ability of families in southern Iraq to sustain themselves from agriculture and livestock production, forcing many to move. This area lies at the lowest reaches of the Tigris-Euphrates river basin, where water flow is most limited and heavily polluted by upstream run-offs or seawater intrusion. Factors contributing to this situation include the indirect impact of climate change on the region in addition to the loss of arable land; the increase of urban water demand paired with an outdated and neglected infrastructure prone to leakages; and, finally, the absence of a transboundary governance agreement for the Tigris-Euphrates river system between Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

Source: https://reliefweb.int/report/iraq/when-canals-run-dry-displacement-triggered-water-stress-south-iraq 

Turkey’s Renewable Energy Sector to Continue Enjoying European Financier EBRD Support
26 Feb, 2020

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) – a traditional supporter of projects in Turkey and the region – has reiterated its commitment to continue financing Turkish renewable projects.

“EBRD will continue to support Turkish renewable projects. We recently signed a loan agreement with Borusan for the capacity extension at the Kıyıköy wind farm located in northwestern Turkey,” said EBRD director of Energy Eurasia for Sustainable Infrastructure Group, Aida Sitdikova, in an exclusive interview with Daily Sabah, on the sidelines of the Atlantic Council – EBRD Renewable Energy Outlook conference last week in Istanbul.

Source: https://www.dailysabah.com/business/energy/turkeys-renewable-energy-sector-to-continue-enjoying-european-financier-ebrd-support 

New Methods of Urban Water Banking
26 Feb, 2020

Urbanization is a common phenomenon in the world where population is increasingly attracted to cities with urban infrastructure and services. Increased water abstraction and consumption in past decades has been a result of increased population in the world. In present context, water scarcity is considered as a critical issue in planning which has been a result of urbanization and climate change.

In this context, urban population face a significant reduction of water resources in terms of drinking purposes as well as agriculture purposes. Presently, cities have initiated various strategies to tackle the water scarcity problem in urban areas both in terms of improving the supply level and demand management. But most cities predominantly adapt technical solutions through water supply improvement strategies (reservoir capacity improvement, ground water exploration, treated water reuse) rather than demand management in water use.

Source: http://www.dailynews.lk/2020/02/26/features/212581/new-methods-urban-water-banking 

The New Neighborhood: Creating New Community Around Sustainability and Social Well-Being
26 Feb, 2020

Cities today are responsible for some 75 per cent of global energy and resource use, and some 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Rapid urbanization and unsustainable practices in all sectors from transport to buildings and construction to waste management to energy will amplify the environmental impacts of cities. Most of urban growth today is unplanned, fragmented and incoherent, and those cities that will see the biggest increase in urban population, lack urban and spatial planning capacity. This leaves gaps in environmental protection and in access to important services for many citizens.

Luckily, urban communities are ready for a new style of living that is kinder to residents and the planet alike and are exploring ways to do so. The International Resource Panel report ‘Weight of Cities’ found that cities can achieve some 30 to 55 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and resource use by using better spatial planning and urban design, higher sector and cross-sector efficiency and circularity, and more sustainable lifestyles and consumption patterns.

Source: https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/02/26/the-new-neighborhood-creating-new-community-around-sustainability-and-social-well-being/

“Affordable Housing Can Be Green Too”
25 Feb, 2020

At the Paris Climate Conference, India pledged to reduce the greenhouse emission (GHE) intensity of its gross domestic product by 33-35% over 2005 levels by 2030. One of the key sectors that need to be factored in to meet this target is the real estate. India’s building stock is expected to double in the next 15 years and buildings are expected to emerge as the largest electricity consuming sector in the country. It is crucial that new buildings in the country are designed to be energy efficient and thermally comfortable.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Sanjay Seth,CEO of GRIHA Council, speaks on why buyers and developers are still shying away from building and buying green homes, how to make affordable housing green; and what makes the GRIHA rating tool different from others.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/affordable-housing-can-be-green-too/story-ExfLvlMMOAFfBWFykTXfXJ.html

The Continued Rise of Sustainable Finance in the UK and EU 
24 Feb, 2020

The present and future impacts of climate change, human rights violations, environmental, labor and regulatory violations and poor corporate governance on the quality of investments and credit risks have spurred widespread recognition for the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations in lending and investment activities.

The rapid development of the sustainable finance sector seen in 2019 has continued into 2020. “Sustainable finance” is a very broad term, but in short, it is any form of financial service and/or product which integrates ESG criteria into business, financing or investment decisions. The financial markets are now starting to possess a range of tools in the “sustainable finance” space.

Source: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-continued-rise-of-sustainable-93150/ 

Sustainable Investing: Reaching for A Green Gold Standard
13 Feb, 2020

The European Commission is hoping that the long-awaited “taxonomy for sustainable finance” will stimulate billions of euros in investment to help the now 27-member bloc achieve its aim of becoming the first continent to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

In the absence of any common minimum legal standards, asset managers have until now largely been free to self-certify and market funds as being environmentally friendly, leaving many investors confused as to what they were actually buying. 

A report on greenwashing from London-based wealth manager SCM Direct, published in November, found that definitions of ‘ethical’, ‘socially responsible’ or ‘sustainable’ investing are so loose that funds can effectively invest in whatever stocks they want.

Source: https://www.funds-europe.com/january-february-2020/sustainable-investing-reaching-for-a-green-gold-standard 

Opinion: A Road Map for Accelerating Sustainable Urban Transformation
12 Feb, 2020

Rapid urbanization is the defining megatrend of our times. It is shaping the way we live and the future of development in the 21st century. By 2030, 60% of humanity will be living in cities. Cities produce more than 70% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions and consume two-thirds of the world’s energy. There is an urgent need to prepare cities to face upcoming challenges.

Urbanization has direct implications for climate change, widening inequalities, population growth, aging, rising demand for resources and services, increased air pollution, and depletion of natural resources.

Source: https://www.devex.com/news/opinion-a-road-map-for-accelerating-sustainable-urban-transformation-96542 

Canada Needs an Ambitious Energy-Retrofit Plan for Buildings
11 Feb, 2020

Canadians voted in October 2019 for strong action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Energy efficiency is a tool in our climate action toolbox that was featured in the platforms of all political parties represented in Parliament, and one that Canadians can unite behind. Twenty-two percent of our end-use greenhouse gas emissions comes from warming, cooling and powering our residential and commercial-institutional buildings — the places we live, work, gather and play. We have a substantial opportunity in the next few decades to slash the pollution our buildings create, while creating jobs and making our lives more comfortable.

Specific energy-retrofit commitments — such as free energy audits, interest-free loans and mobilizing private capital to pursue deep retrofits of office towers — are featured in the mandate letters to federal ministers. A massive scale-up of energy retrofits is needed to meet the government’s commitment to achieve a net-zero emissions future by 2050.

Source: https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/february-2020/canada-needs-an-ambitious-energy-retrofit-plan-for-buildings/ 

Are You Ready to Go ‘Zero Waste’?
29 Jan, 2020

If there is one resolution we can perhaps more easily commit to, it should be reducing waste. Not only is it timely as a new decade starts, and imperative amid climate change-related disasters, but frankly, why must it be so hard to restrain one’s self from acquiring material things that can only add up to what we will eventually discard? Then again, this involves a strong will and serious discipline, but not entirely a matter easier said than done. It may even come as a surprise for some that in the Philippines alone, there already exists efforts by various provinces and cities to go zero-waste.

Source: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1220601/are-you-ready-to-go-zero-waste 

Strategies Towards The Vision Of ‘Clean Country – Green Environment’
28 Jan, 2020

Sri Lanka is a small island in South Asia. In early times, it was named the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. But what is happening to the pearl now? As a result of urbanisation and increase of population, environmental issues related to solid waste are increasing. According to the World Bank estimation, the per capita solid waste generation of Local Authority Quantity by person (kg/day) in the Colombo Municipal Council is 0.80 kg. Other Municipal Councils records a rate of 0.75 kg, while Urban Councils record 0.60 kg and Pradeshiya Sabha 0.40 kg. Arithmetically, it works out to over 20,000 MT of solid waste produced per day. The Waste Management Authority as the main Government body of the relevant subject revealed that Sri Lanka produces over 7000 MT of waste per day. Out of the total amount of waste generated, 60% is accounted for by the Western province. It is the common relationship that generation of waste is a positive function of the growth of population.

Source: http://www.ft.lk/columns/Strategies-towards-the-vision-of-Clean-Country-Green-Environment/4-694535

Water Scarcity And Global Politics Are Taking The World To The Precipice
28 Jan, 2020

The link between climate change and human security has been on the global security radar for decades. Researchers have long understood how and why the earth’s climate is changing and what these changes mean for human and environmental systems. But the tenor of analysis of the implications of climate change has intensified in recent years as the scale of change and the enormity of the challenges facing humanity become clear.

The most critical element of the human security dimension of climate change is water security. As noted in the World Bank’s 2016 report on global water: “The impacts of climate change will be channeled primarily through the water cycle … Water-related climate risks cascade through food, energy, urban, and environmental systems. Growing populations, rising incomes, and expanding cities will converge upon a world where the demand for water rises exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain”.

Source: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/water-scarcity-and-global-politics-are-taking-the-world-to-the-precipice/ 

Exploring The Linkages Between Sustainable Urbanisation And Rural Infrastructure
28 Jan, 2020

Urban agglomerations are engines of economic growth. As such, sustainable economic growth demands sustainable urbanisation. There is evidence which indicates that higher the non-agricultural labour share, higher is the log of output per worker in the non-agricultural sector. However, this relationship is true for the agricultural sector as well. This implies how the growth of cities has a positive influence on national productivity. But this also implies that the benefits of economic growth driven by urbanisation get transmitted into the rural areas. This underscores the importance of cities in improving the agricultural productivity of a nation assuming that the channels, by which the above-mentioned transmission takes place, are intact.

Source: https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/exploring-the-linkages-between-sustainable-urbanisation-and-rural-infrastructure-60802/ 

UK Must Create 120,000 Green Energy Jobs By 2030 To Meet Targets
27 Jan, 2020

The UK must recruit more than 100,000 people to fill green energy roles within a decade if the government hopes to meet its binding climate targets, National Grid has warned. A report by the company found that Britain needs to fill 120,000 roles in the green energy industry by 2030 to help develop projects that can cut greenhouse gas emissions to near zero. That number is likely to reach 400,000 by 2050, when the government expects to have developed a clean energy system based on renewable electricity, green heating systems and electric vehicles. The growing need for new recruits to power the UK’s climate targets is expected to emerge as Britain faces a green energy jobs crunch over the next 10 years. The report warned that a fifth of employees in the energy sector are due to retire by 2030. 

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jan/28/uk-must-create-120000-green-energy-jobs-by-2030-to-meet-targets-national-grid 

Planning Sustainable Cities of The Future
25 Jan, 2020

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterised by a considerable surge in new digital technologies and artificial intelligence. This trend has created a significant impact on urbanisation and has played an essential part in the establishment of smart cities. With innovation harnessing enhancements across numerous areas of modern life, it is natural that technological advancements are applied to the places closest to us, in our homes and communities. Abu Dhabi will be the focus of attention for those interested in sustainable urban development during WUF10, as the city draws in experts in the smart and sustainable cities industry around the world. More than 100 ministers and about 20,000 people from more than 160 countries will attend a series of discussions focused on sustainable smart cities.

Source: https://gulfnews.com/opinion/op-eds/planning-sustainable-cities-of-the-future-1.69230510 

Infrastructure Funds Have Become A Way Around Decarbonisation Targets
24 Jan, 2020

The infrastructure investing business appears to have turned itself into a perpetual motion machine. The underlying assets — toll roads, pipelines and wind turbines — are teetering on a pyramid of thinner profits and higher risks.But the investing public does not seem to notice. Despite weak earnings, the infrastructure funds have been able to trade those assets back and forth with each other for ever-higher prices. Then they use the mark-to-model results to raise more money from institutional investors and the public markets. According to Preqin, a data provider, infrastructure funds raised $98bn in 2019, even though their internal rate of return tumbled from 12.8 per cent in 2018 to 7.7 per cent. They have a record $212bn of dry powder — money that has been secured but not committed to any particular investment. That is double the size of the money bin they had five years ago.

Source: https://www.ft.com/content/d2fe101a-c2a3-4714-a1c6-51e70b069ae4 

The Number of Green Buildings to Increase with the Domestic Green Certificate System YeS-TR
24 Jan, 2020

Turkey at the national and local levels of energy efficiency, will be developed for the dissemination of environmentally friendly buildings and settlement practices local National Green Certification Scheme (YES-Tor is) completed, the certificate will be given certificates to buildings and settlements by the competent authorities. The reasons such as global warming and climate change, decrease in water resources, environmental pollution and rapid consumption of natural resources make it necessary to build green buildings in the building sector. Within the scope of sustainable development, since 1990, various green building certifications have been created to support the construction of buildings that consume less energy, use less natural resources and pollute the environment in many countries, especially in developed countries. In this context, the protocol for the development of a “National Evaluation Guide” between the Ministry and Istanbul Technical University (ITU) on February 26, 2016 in order to evaluate and certify buildings and settlements suitable for climate data and the region, consuming energy and water as much as they need, using renewable energy sources.

Source: https://www.raillynews.com/2020/01/the-number-of-green-buildings-will-increase-with-domestic-green-certification-system-yes-tr/ 

The Future of Development Is Local
22 Jan, 2020

In 2010, the rate of people around the world living in extreme poverty—that is, surviving on less that $1.25 a day—was officially cut in half since 1990. It was the crowning achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, the global framework developed by the United Nations and others in 2000 to catalyze transformative economic development. This progress, however, was built on the edifice of the post-World War II economic order: the capital markets, trade and migration networks, digital infrastructure, and institutions that were designed to enable global commerce between nations and thereby encourage cooperation and peace among them. Practically every driver that facilitated this dramatic reduction in global extreme poverty—the global exchange of goods, services, and capital through transnational markets; the regional movement of production and manufacturing hubs that created global value chains; and the flow of ideas, innovation, and data that undergirded the digital economy—stemmed from an order designed to serve and support nation-states.

Source: https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/22/sustainable-development-goals-sdgs-think-local-cities/ 

Reducing CO2 Emissions In The European Transport Sector
20 Jan, 2020

Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport believes that mobility must be made sustainable, which is key for meeting the European Commission’s commitment to making the economy carbon-neutral by 2050. Transport also ensures the freedom of movement when it comes to people and goods and contributes to cohesion throughout the continent. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission wrote a letter to Commissioner Vălean and underlined there that the transport sector will make a vital contributions when it comes to “harnessing the potential of the twin climate and digital transitions” and stresses that Europe must reduce emissions further and faster to become the first climate-neutral continent in the world.

Source: https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/european-transport-reducing-co2-emissions/81099/ 

3 Actions Business Leaders Can Take To Help Solve Our Water Crisis
20 Jan, 2020

With less than 1% of the world’s freshwater readily available for human consumption and demand expected to increase by 40% by 2030, effective governance and management of freshwater supplies is one of the most fundamental public goods challenges of our time. 

Yet recent headlines about devastating wildfires and water shortages facing Australia, deadly flooding in Jakarta, and Chennai joining Cape Town and other cities in the struggle to avoid ‘Day Zero’ serve as just the latest reminders of how difficult a task this is becoming.

Already, nearly 25% of the world’s population face looming water crises, and by 2025 the figure is predicted to surpass 60%. In addition to the impacts on human health and ecosystems, water risks are also increasingly material for economic growth and business. The World Bank projects that water scarcity could cost some regions up to 6% of their GDP by 2050. In 2018 alone, companies reported more than $38 billion in financial losses due to water challenges.

Source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/01/3-actions-business-leaders-can-take-to-tackle-the-worlds-water-crisis/ 

Asia Should Respond To Climate Change By Building Green
14 Jan, 2020

Climate change is the defining issue of our future, and already the greening of agriculture, energy and transportation -- transforming the sectors so they become more sustainable in the face of environmental challenges -- is at the forefront of new policies and investments. But we also need to look at how and where we live. The building, construction and renovation sectors, which make up the backbone of residential and commercial housing, contribute almost 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In every crisis, however, there are opportunities. Efficient and environmentally friendly green buildings are one such opportunity -- and a massive one at that. In emerging markets alone, by 2030 green buildings will offer up to $24.7 trillion in investment opportunities. Much of this growth will occur in east Asia Pacific and South Asia, where more than half of the world's urban population will live within a decade. In a recent report, the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, estimated that by 2030, residential and commercial green buildings will represent a $17.8 trillion investment opportunity in Asia alone.

Source: https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Asia-should-respond-to-climate-change-by-building-green

Clean Energy To Head Agenda In 2020
10 Jan, 2020

Governments are forging ahead with renewable energy programmes, fuelled by the rapid fall in the cost of developing solar and wind power. Despite a slowdown in the value of contract awards in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) power sector in 2019, the transition towards alternative and cleaner forms of energy will be the prominent theme in the region’s electricity sector in 2020.  For the first ten months of 2019, the $12.2bn-worth of contract awards for power projects in the Mena region was significantly down on the $20.2bn awarded for the same period in 2018. A combination of reduced peak demand growth for electricity across the GCC – a result of muted economic growth and energy efficiency measures being undertaken by utilities – and the completion of construction work on major power plants can largely account for the drop in new projects activity over the past year. The new year should record a pick-up in awards for power generation projects as several large utility-scale schemes move through bid submission and evaluation on to award. Moving further into 2020, it will be the region’s burgeoning renewable energy sector that should offer the most opportunities for investors and energy companies seeking to boost order books.

Source: https://www.power-technology.com/comment/clean-energy-2020-agenda/ 

Road Transport In The EU ETS: A High-Risk, Low-Reward Strategy
10 Jan, 2020

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is not a good instrument to cut road transport emissions because it will raise petrol prices and fuel popular discontent, as seen in the past with the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ protests, writes William Todts. Road emissions are best addressed with standards, he argues. Late last year, Ursula Von der Leyen announced a sweeping plan to green Europe’s economy. The plan includes measures to restore nature, protect biodiversity, reduce air pollution and make Europe climate neutral by 2050. We welcomed the green deal but warned that Von der Leyen’s plan to extend the bloc’s emissions trading system, known as ETS, to road transport is a distraction at best.

Source: https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/opinion/road-transport-in-the-eu-ets-a-high-risk-low-reward-strategy/

The Facts about Architecture and Climate Change
03 Jan, 2020

As we enter a new year, and indeed a new decade, the "Climate Emergency" continues to embody a renewed worldwide focus on tackling climate change. While there is no "one solution" to the multifaceted challenges brought about by this crisis, there is an onus on every citizen, in both a personal and professional capacity, to apply their skills and actions in addressing the profound pressures on the natural world.

For those involved in the design of buildings and cities, be they architects, urbanists, or citizens, there is a deep responsibility to be aware of, and design for, the impact of climate change. With 36% of global energy devoted to buildings and 8% of global emissions caused by cement alone, the architectural community is deeply entwined with the flows of materials, energy, and ideas that relate to climate change, both causes and solutions.

Source: https://www.archdaily.com/931240/the-facts-about-architecture-and-climate-change 

KFW Provides EUR 11 Million For Two Regional Landfills In Serbian Cities
30 Dec, 2019

The Serbian government and German development bank KfW have signed financing agreements of EUR 11 million for regional landfills in Kruševac and Vranje, according to the Serbian Ministry for Construction, Transport, and Infrastructure. Serbian Construction, Transport, and Infrastructure Minister Zorana Mihajlović said that out of EUR 11 million, EUR 10 million is a donation for the preparation of technical and design documentation for two regional landfills. Another EUR 22 million has been secured for the landfills in Kruševac and Vranje, making it a total of EUR 33 million available for project documentation and construction of regional solid waste landfills in Kruševac and Vranje, she said.

Source: https://balkangreenenergynews.com/kfw-provides-eur-11-million-for-two-regional-landfills-in-serbian-cities/ 

In the Green Transition, Transportation Is the Next Big Baddie
23 Dec, 2019

Climate change crusaders are quick to lionize someone like Tesla’s Elon Musk and to demonize Big Oil executives. The reality, though, is that even “green” transport risks becoming a villain. Sustainability seems hardest for the firms that generate energy or extract the necessary commodities since moving away from oil and gas and into renewable sources requires turning their entire business models upside down. But the past five years suggest that businesses that move people and goods may actually have as difficult a road ahead. During this period it has been the only sector in which greenhouse-gas emissions have consistently risen both in the U.S. and in the European Union. By contrast, energy producers have finally started to get cleaner by switching from coal to gas and investing in renewable sources.

Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-the-green-transition-transportation-is-the-next-big-baddie-11577119404 

Chongqing Takes ASEAN Connectivity Lead in Western China
06 Nov, 2019

As the operating center of the China-Singapore demonstration initiative on strategic connectivity, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality is taking the regional lead in contributing to connectivity with ASEAN and promoting cooperation along the Belt and Road routes. 

Evidence of this is that a total of 56 major projects were signed at this year's China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative Financial Summit held Monday in the city, with an aggregate amount of 194.5 billion yuan (about $27.7 billion). 

The projects include those involving the issuance of green bonds, debt financing, cross-border logistics, education and tourism. 

More than 300 government officials, business people and scholars from China, Singapore and other ASEAN countries attended the summit and discussed topics including cross-border investment and financing, financial technology, inclusive finance, green finance, supply chain finance and logistics finance.

http://www.china.org.cn/business/2019-11/06/content_75380479.htm

Waste to Energy Market to Make Great Impact in Near Future by 2025
06 Nov, 2019

Advance Market Analytics released a comprehensive study of 200+ pages on ‘Waste to Energy’ market with detailed insights on growth factors and strategies. The study segments key regions that includes North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific with country level break-up and provide volume* and value related cross segmented information by each country.

Waste-to-Energy is also known as Energy-from-Waste refers to the process of generating electricity and/or heat directly through combustion or produce a combustible fuel commodity. The energy generated from this process is similar to energy produced using natural gas, oil, coal or another method. The waste to energy is expected to reduce the Municipal Solid Waste landfill by 90% which can further reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emission the waste generated.

https://dailymarketheadlines.com/14750/waste-to-energy-market-to-make-great-impact-in-near-future-by-2025-amec-foster-wheeler-veolia-environment-suez-environment-waste-management/

UN, Other Experts, Present Prescription To Avoid Dangerous Water Shortfall For 70 Million Central Asians
06 Nov, 2019

Unless well-funded and coordinated joint efforts are stepped up, ongoing over-withdrawals compounded by climate change will cause dangerous water shortages for some 70 million people living in Central Asia's Aral Sea Basin, according to a new book co-authored by 57 experts from 14 countries and the United Nations.

With six countries competing for resources - Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan - the Basin is one of the world's most complex watersheds.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-11/tca-uoe103019.php

$13 Trillion: China's Expected Construction Spending By 2030. Will Some Go To Zero Carbon Buildings?
06 Nov, 2019

China is in the midst of a construction mega-boom. The country has the largest buildings market in the world, making up 20 percent of all construction investment globally. And it’s set to grow: China is expected to spend nearly $13 trillion on buildings by 2030 (PDF).

This unprecedented level of construction has tremendous implications — not just for the Chinese, but for everyone. Building operations are responsible for 28 percent of global energy-related carbon emissions (PDF). How China constructs its buildings either will fuel dangerous climate change or help create a more sustainable future for everyone.

Zero carbon buildings would allow countries such as China to keep pace with current construction rates while still lowering their greenhouse gas emissions. By relying heavily on efficiency and renewable energy, zero carbon buildings are consistent with the goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a trajectory scientist say is necessary to avert the worst climate impacts.

https://www.greenbiz.com/article/13-trillion-chinas-expected-construction-spending-2030-will-some-go-zero-carbon-buildings

How Finance Can Protect Ocean Resources
05 Nov, 2019

Can finance contribute to seafood sustainability? This is an increasingly relevant question given the projected growth of seafood demand and the magnitude of social and environmental issues associated with its production.

Since the 1960s, aquaculture has been the world’s fastest-growing food sector. Rates of fish consumption have been increasing twice as rapidly as population growth, and fish has become one of the most traded food commodities.

Today, more than 90% of the world’s fisheries are either overexploited or fully exploited, and the sector is plagued with unsustainable practices, ranging from illegal fishing and habitat destruction to overuse of antibiotics and forced labour.

https://chinadialogueocean.net/11430-finance-protect-ocean-resources-sustainability/

EU-Wide Innovation Support Is Key To Electrolysis In Europe
05 Nov, 2019

Liquid and gaseous power-to-X (PtX) products, also known as e-fuels or powerfuels, are critical ingredients of the energy transition. They will be needed wherever the direct electrification of the energy system reaches its limits – above all in aviation and in a range of industrial applications, be it as process heat or feedstock, and for long-term storage.

Sustainable PtX products have one common denominator: hydrogen produced from renewable electricity through water electrolysis.

Even though low electricity prices are decisive for competitive electrolysis, conventional wisdom holds that the technical equipment for electrolysis – the electrolyser – is also relatively expensive, contributing considerably to the overall cost of renewable hydrogen.

According to the IEA, the lowest capital expenditures (CAPEX) today start at 500 USD/kWe for alkaline electrolysers (see table below). These figures are drawn from diverse sources, including the German NOW GmbH (National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology), as well as our own publication on the future cost of electricity-based synthetic fuels.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/opinion/eu-wide-innovation-support-is-key-to-electrolysis-in-europe/

China Does Not Need Foreign Tech Or Money To Decarbonize, Energy Consultancy Wood Mackenzie Says
04 Nov, 2019

China’s renewable energy market does not need foreign technology and money said Mark Hutchinson, vice president of APAC power and renewables consulting at global energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

“Right now, China’s renewable energy sector is government driven. Going forward, it will be more economically driven,” Hutchinson told CNBC at the Asian Clean Energy Summit in Singapore last Wednesday.

Many Chinese energy companies receive help from the government in the form of direct investments and large subsidies. But that will likely change soon, Hutchinson said.

Although China’s growth has slowed, he said, investors need to keep in mind that it’s part of the process for maturing economies.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/04/china-does-not-need-foreign-help-in-renewable-energy-wood-mackenzie.html

Ten Urbantech Startups Selected To Support The Development Of Sustainable Cities
04 Nov, 2019

Denmark is at the forefront of the urban tech movement. Ten startups selected by leading Danish companies within sustainable urban development, are showcasing their cutting-edge ideas this week.

From energy-producing windows to geotechnical analysis systems, the ideas range widely among ten startups selected to take part in the Urbantech Program. All have one thing in common: they can make our cities more sustainable.

Through partnerships with a number of Danish companies, the program contributes to the development of new solutions for the cities of the future. It will run over three years, supporting 10 startups each year. The goal is to help these startups make construction more efficient, buildings and energy systems more flexible, and public spaces more multifunctional.

https://www.eu-startups.com/2019/11/ten-urbantech-startups-selected-to-support-the-development-of-sustainable-cities/

Electric Vans For The Future Of Sustainable Transport
01 Nov, 2019

In a bid to combat climate change and under EU regulations, zero-emission vehicles are becoming the norm in Member States; with electric vehicle (EV) sales across Europe expected to triple by 2021. Experts estimate that there will be 140 million EVs on the road globally by 2030, should countries meet the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal at the end of the next decade. This signals the end of the road for combustion engines and the start of a new era where electric vans, trucks and cars are already driving the change for a greener, cleaner transport model.

LDV is proud to be part of that change and is leading the charge when it comes to developing new technologies that can make the switch to zero-emission driving easier for all and, in particular, for business owners and fleet buyers. Manufactured in China by SAIC Maxus, LDV has been focused for many years on fuel innovation and the creation of light commercial electric vans that can support fleet buyers and business owners in relegating congestion charges, road fund licences and carbon emissions to the past.

https://www.governmenteuropa.eu/electric-vans-for-the-future-of-sustainable-transport/95269/

Creating A Sustainable Tomorrow at XJTLU
31 Oct, 2019

We are living through the era of the “Sustainable Revolution,” with developments in green engineering and construction as relevant as the technological innovations of the Industrial Revolution.

This is how Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University’s Dr Konstantinos Papadikis describes the importance of sustainability on the eve of the Second International Conference on Sustainable Buildings and Structures that is due to take place at the University in Suzhou.

The ICSBS conference will bring together scientists and engineers from across the world to present and share the latest research outcomes, innovative ideas and engineering practices under the theme: “Building a Sustainable Tomorrow.”

With sessions on sustainable materials and design, smart construction and construction management and green and low-carbon buildings, Dr Papadikis says the conference will highlight new and best practices in the construction industry and planning sector.

https://www.xjtlu.edu.cn/en/news/2019/10/creating-a-sustainable-tomorrow-at-xjtlu

Lessons From Phoenix On Water Management And Equity
30 Oct, 2019

In a desert city such as Phoenix, water is the foundation of public health, economic opportunity and quality of life. Phoenix’s water supply is sound and sustainable as a result of multiple water sources and a logical, methodical approach to supply planning, infrastructure management, conservation and drought preparation. Living in the desert imparts a deep appreciation for the value of water, which has driven the city of Phoenix to methodically manage water supplies for reliability in our desert environment. There are complicated trade-offs between sustainable management of water supplies, conservation, affordability, infrastructure investment and equity. At the same time, smart and equitable water management can foster broad opportunity for the entire community. In Phoenix, we’re continuously working on water management, and we’re now bringing water equity into focus as well.

Phoenix has been a leader in the reuse of wastewater for 40 years. We’ve also banked water underground that we don’t need today, for availability when shortages of Colorado River water occur. And we have access to over a trillion gallons of native groundwater, which we fastidiously protect as a savings account for future generations. Our supplies include water from the Salt, Verde and Colorado Rivers, and reclaimed wastewater.

https://www.greenbiz.com/article/lessons-phoenix-water-management-and-equity

$37.9Bn Plastic Waste Management Industry | Global Market Report - Forecast to 2024
25 Oct, 2019

The "Plastic Waste Management Market by Service (Collection, Recycling), By Polymer Type (PP, LDPE), By Source (Residential, Commercial, Industrial), By End-Use Applications (Packaging, Building & Construction), Region - Global Forecast to 2024" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The plastic waste management market is projected to grow from USD 32.6 billion in 2019 to USD 37.9 billion by 2024, recording a CAGR of 3.1% during the forecast period.

The growing demand for plastic waste management services is attributed to the increase in awareness programs regarding sustainable waste management practices, stringent law enforcement by governments for the management of plastic waste to reduce solid waste accumulating in landfills and growing urban population. However, the high cost of using recycled plastics and difficulty in managing the supply chain are projected to pose challenges in the growth of the market.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/37-9bn-plastic-waste-management-industry--global-market-report---forecast-to-2024--300945533.html

Bioenergy, Forestry Sectors Jump On EU’s Green Finance Bandwagon
23 Oct, 2019

Bioenergies, including wood, biofuels and forest-based industries, should be recognised under the EU’s draft sustainable finance taxonomy, in line with the recently-updated renewable energy directive, an industry coalition has claimed.

The EU’s draft taxonomy for green finance is “undermined by significant divergences” with the EU’s renewable energy directive, according to a joint statement by ten industry associations involved in the forestry and bioenergy sectors.

The statement was published on Wednesday (23 October) by a coalition of ten industry groups: Bioenergy Europe (bioenergy industries), CEPF (forest owners), CEPI (paper industries), COGEN Europe (cogeneration industry), Copa-Cogeca (farmers and agri-cooperatives), EBA (biogas producers), EOS (sawmill industry), ePURE (ethanol producers), Euroheat & Power (district heating), and EUstafor (forest managers).

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/bioenergy-forestry-sectors-jump-into-eus-green-finance-bandwagon/

ESCAP, UN-Habitat Publish Guidebook for Future Urbanization in Asia-Pacific
17 Oct, 2019

Building cities sustainable enough to meet future needs will require new ways of thinking and working, as well as new kinds of multi-stakeholder initiatives and partnerships, according to a flagship report published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and UN-Habitat. The publication explores future policy pathways for policymakers and stakeholders to “reimagine the built and natural environments in the region’s cities.”

The report titled, ‘The Future of Asian and Pacific Cities: Transformative Pathways Towards Sustainable Urban Development,’ describes 15 policy pathways across four priorities to guide future urbanization: urban and territorial planning; urban resilience; smart and inclusive cities; and urban finance.

http://sdg.iisd.org/news/escap-un-habitat-publish-guidebook-for-future-urbanization-in-asia-pacific/

European Union’s Clean Energy Package: ‘Undoubtedly Positive’ For Energy Storage
05 Sep, 2019

The EU’s latest Clean Energy Package (CEP) is “undoubtedly positive” for energy storage, with the technology expected to play a key role in meeting the legislation’s ambitious “32% by 2030” renewables target, Brittney Elzarei, senior policy officer at trade organisation EASE has said.

In an article for Volume 20 of PV Tech Power, the quarterly technical journal from our publisher Solar Media, Elzarei takes a close look at the CEP, noting that recognition by EU policymakers of the value of energy storage has greatly evolved in just the past decade since its third iteration in 2009.

“The CEP is undoubtedly positive for the storage sector. By establishing a binding renewables target of 32% by 2030 – along with targets for renewables in transport, heating and cooling – the package sets a high level of ambition that can only be achieved with the widespread deployment of flexibility solutions such as storage."

Source: https://www.energy-storage.news/news/european-unions-clean-energy-package-undoubtedly-positive-for-energy-storag

Germany's Renewables Investments Falls On Lower Prices, Slower Capacity Growth
05 Sep, 2019

Investments in renewable energy were halved in Germany in 2018 compared to the year before, landing the country in fourth place in global renewable investments, said Ulf Moslener, sustainable finance researcher at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. The report, compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the UN Environment Programme and the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, found that Germany leads in Europe if investments over the past ten years are taken into account, but that especially a drop in wind power investments brought total financial flows in renewable technology down significantly. However, since prices for renewable power installations, especially for solar power, have also fallen sharply over the past decade, Germany's capacity growth has not fallen as much as monetary investments and remained positive also in 2018.

Source: https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/germanys-renewables-investments-falls-lower-prices-slower-capacity-growth

Increasing Population Puts Pressure On Land And Water Too: UNCCD
05 Sep, 2019

The process of meeting the food demand of the world’s increasing population is going to put pressure not only on land but also on water resources, Global Land Outlook, a United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) report has said.

In all probability, demand of water for agricultural purposes will double by 2050 due to growing demands for food. This fact becomes more significant when coupled with the fact that agriculture is by far the most important driver of water shortages around the world. Irrigation accounts for 70 per cent of global water withdrawals.

The report said despite the fact that water was recognised among the top 10 risks humanity was facing, it often got neglected in discussions about the role of land and natural resources.

Highlighting its importance in land degradation, the report said 20 per cent of irrigated land area had suffered from crop yield reductions due to salinity.

Source: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/water/increasing-population-puts-pressure-on-land-and-water-too-unccd-66564

Building Construction Authority Gets Additional S$20 Million For Green Building Innovation
05 Sep, 2019

The National Research Foundation (NRF) has provided S$20 million of funds for Building Construction Authority’s green building innovation project.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong announced this project at the opening of the inaugural International Built Environment Week (IBEW), organised by BCA.

These funds are available to all companies within the Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC) which was set up by BCA in 2014, with an S$52 million grant from NRF.

GBIC is a group focused on experimenting, exhibiting and exchanging of information and solutions for the smart use of energy. It was launched under the Energy National Innovation Challenge (Energy NIC). It provides grants to companies within the industry to innovate on ways for creating smart green buildings.

Source: https://www.opengovasia.com/building-construction-authority-gets-additional-s20-million-for-green-building-innovations/

Green Building Innovations Fund Gets $20m Boost
04 Sep, 2019

A national fund to encourage developers and building owners to introduce eco-friendly innovations is getting a $20 million boost.

The top-up of the green building innovations fund will encourage more tie-ups between the built environment industry and the research community, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Wednesday (Sept 4).

Mr Wong announced the top-up of the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC) programme at the opening ceremony of the inaugural International Built Environment Week (IBEW).

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/tech/green-building-innovations-fund-gets-20m-boost

National Internet Media Praises Zhuzhou City’s “Butterfly Transformation”: The Beauty Here is Really Different 
02 Sep, 2019

“Black, gray” was people’s deep impression of Zhuzhou in those years. As an industrial town, Zhuzhou was ever twice listed as one of the “Top Ten Air Pollution Cities in China” in the early 21st century. However, after years of continuous efforts, Zhuzhou has made great changes out of its painful transformation and upgrading. “Green and watery” has become a new impression of people and a new image of the city.

And “industrial civilization and ecological livability” has become a new label for the city.

The mud left by the flood has been cleaned up, and the vegetation is verdant and vivid along the Xiangjiang River Scenic Belt.

Link: http://www.zznews.gov.cn/news/2019/0902/322193.shtml

Shandong Free Trade Area Network’s Qingdao FTA Is Being Launched: Clearly Define Its Four Missions And Five Things To Manage
02 Sep, 2019

The Shandong FTA Network covers 3 cities of the province: Jinan, Qingdao and Yantai; each of the three has its own characteristics. In the recently approved Overall Plan of China Pilot Free Trade Areas including (Shandong), (Jiangsu), (Guangxi), (Hebei), (Yunnan), and (Heilongjiang), the Qingdao FTA covers an area of 52 square kilometers, accounting for about 43.3% of Shandong FTA, and is the largest one among the three; it undertakes 106 pilot tasks of reform and innovation, accounting for 94.6% of all pilot tasks of the province. By taking the opportunity that the free trade area got approved, Qingdao will use its advantages as various economic functional zones designated by the country such as Qingdao West Coast New District, China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Zone, Qingdao Bonded Zone, Qingdao Economic and Technological Development Zone and Qingdao International Economic Cooperation Zone, to build itself into a pilot zone for deepening reform and opening up, a leading area for building a new platform for international cooperation under “the Belt & Road Initiative”, a pioneering zone for promoting high-quality development, and a demonstration zone for building a modern international metropolis.

Link: https://finance.sina.com.cn/roll/2019-09-02/doc-iicezueu2728104.shtml

Zhuhai Made One Of The Top Ten In The Ranking Of China’s Sustainable Comprehensive Development Cities In 2018 And It Is The Second Consecutive Time To Top The List
31 Aug, 2019

On August 29, China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE) and the Social Sciences Academic Press (SSAP) jointly released the Blue Book on Sustainable Development: China Sustainable Development Evaluation Report (2019). Based on the basic framework of China’s indicator system of sustainable development evaluation, the report provided a comprehensive and systematic data validation and analysis, and ranked sustainable development of the country, provinces and large and medium-sized cities in 2018. Among the cities ranked, Zhuhai surpasses Shenzhen, Beijing, Guangzhou and other cities, ranking atop in the comprehensive ranking of sustainable development in 2018.

Link: http://www.zhuhai.gov.cn/xw/xwzx_44483/zhyw/201908/t20190831_56462633.html

Two Green Energy-Efficient Renovation Projects Got Approved To The Dossier -Changzhou Municipal Housing And Urban-Rural Development Bureau
30 Aug, 2019

Changzhou is one of the first batch of cities in Jiangsu province that carries out the demo project of energy efficiency and renovation of existing buildings. In the three years from 2015 to 2018, 20 renovation projects were carried out, with a total renovation area of 679,900 square meters. On top of the demo project, Changzhou also actively explores to make further innovations and upgrade functions of the existing buildings, so as to reach the green building standards. This year, Changzhou has 2 projects successfully approved by the province government, and by the approval, the 2 projects are funded a total of RMB 4 million from the provincial fiscal incentive funds.

The implementation of the green projects is guided by the principle of green development and low-carbon development and applies innovative green building development modes. And as it shifts focuses from “construction of new buildings” to “renovation of old buildings”, it further enables the city to play out the energy-efficient potential of existing buildings, enhances the energy utilization efficiency and the operation management level of the existing buildings, and make the city go “green”.

Link: http://www.changzhou.gov.cn/ns_news/437156704943992

Community Participation in Effective Water Resource Management
30 Aug, 2019

In India, the primary sector, comprising agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, and fishing, is the mainstay of the rural economy. Growth in these activities is indispensable for maintaining rural livelihoods. The growth of agriculture depends mainly on the availability and judicious use of water resources, in addition to other inputs. A drastic increase in the demand for water—due to explosive population growth, industrialisation, urbanisation, water-intensive cropping patterns, poor managerial systems, and climate change—has depleted freshwater sources. The need to preserve and manage scarce, depleting water resources is now urgent.

Rural resources like land and water, and other natural resources, need to be developed and managed in a coordinated manner and used optimally for development to be sustainable. The management of forest wealth needs to improve and its coverage and productivity enhanced. Rural populations have some rights to common property resources; these must be used efficiently and distributed equitably among them. Social institutions like non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can help mitigate problems related to rural resources. Community participation, apart from the work of public and private agents, is an important ingredient of rural sustainable development.

Source: https://www.epw.in/journal/2019/54/special-articles/community-participation-effective-water-resource.html

Discover The Rain Gardens Of Gdansk
30 Aug, 2019

Gdansk boasts new water retention facilities as of this month. Four rain gardens, three small retention parks and a "backyard" retention system between residential buildings were installed in the Polish city. The total area of small retention facilities is nearly 20 hectares which can collect nearly 1.5 thousand cubic meters of water.

The purpose of these small retention facilities as an adaptation measure to climate change in the field of water management is to increase the resilience of cities, emphasizes Ryszard Gajewski, president of Gdańsk Waters. This is associated with a simultaneous solution to the problem of managing excess water and its insufficiency a result of prolonged periods of drought. At a time when consumption of raw materials, including water, should be reduced, it is very important to treat rainwater as a resource, he believes. That is why the municipal service encourages investors and residents to design objects with the least nuisance to the environment and such based on natural solutions.

Source: https://www.themayor.eu/en/discover-the-rain-gardens-of-gdansk

Solidly Promote The Exquisite City Construction With Practical Actions
26 Aug, 2019

“Weihai should move onto the path towards an exquisite city” – this is the ardent expectation of General Secretary Xi Jinping and is the general goal of the city. To qualify as an exquisite city, it should not only looks at its trunk roads, new district areas, and overall appearance; but also should look at its back streets, old towns and the corners where are most easily overlooked and are often more representative of the city construction quality and standard. To construct an exquisite city, it is largely by “renovation and reconstruction”, and by “leaders going out to the sites”. And an exquisite city comes into being in the residential communities and in the streets, rather than in the office or conference rooms.

Pan-territory integration is a distinctive feature of Weihai’s urban development, and exquisite city is the requirement on Weihai’s development. It should adhere to the concept of pan-territory integration in promoting the construction of the exquisite city, accelerate transformation of the old downtowns and opening of new areas, pay more attention to the vast towns and villages, solidly promote the construction of good towns, and carry out “five improvements” and “seven reforms” in rural villages, striving to create more refined towns, exquisite communities, and exquisite villages.

Link: http://www.whnews.cn/news/node/2019-08/26/content_7099556.htm

EIB Grants 125 Million For Infrastructure In Friuli Venezia Giulia
19 Aug, 2019

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide a 125 million euros loan to Italy’s Friuli Venezia Giulia Region for the implementation of its 2019-2021 infrastructure plan. This is the first direct loan between the EU financial institution and the Region, announced EIB.

The funding will be used to implement the works in different sectors included in the regional plan. In the list are projects promoted by public entities in the areas of anti-seismic adaptation and energy efficiency upgrading of school buildings, social infrastructure such as hospitals, co-generation and energy efficiency projects, renewable energy generation and improvements in the utilisation of water resources. It will also include projects aimed at enhancing the historic, natural and cultural heritage of the region.

Source: https://www.themayor.eu/en/eib-grants-125-million-for-infrastructure-in-friuli-venezia-giulia

The First Phase Project To Upgrade The Seaside Park Is Fully Completed And The Park Is Open To The Public
15 Aug, 2019

Yuehua Garden has been undergoing renovations of a number of items since the beginning of May, learned the reporter today from the Yuehua Garden, a subsidiary of Zhuhai Urban Construction Group. This is a major transformation of the seaside park in recent years. The first phase is mainly focused on greening and asphalting the roads. And it has been completed and is open to Zhuhai citizens.

It is reported that laying asphalt on the main roads is one of the main tasks of this project. In order to make the park environment more beautiful and comfortable, the park has upgraded the main garden roads with asphalt pavement, and distinguished fast and slow trails by red and black colors. The total area covered under the project is over 10,000 square meters. Thus the cement roads with more than 20 years of history have been transformed into the clean and beautiful asphalt roads where citizens and tourists can not only walk in the garden, breathe fresh air, but also exercise in the beautiful scenery.

Link: http://zh.southcn.com/content/2019-07/15/content_188315612.htm

Inspecting Progress Of The Projects Of Comprehensive Renovation Of Old Communities And Construction Of Livable Demo Residential Areas Designated As The Provincial Level In 2019 
15 Aug, 2019

To speed up the comprehensive renovation of old communities in 2019 and the construction of livable demo residential areas which are designated as the provincial level, Mr. CAI Jun, deputy director of the Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau of Changzhou, led a team to the old urban areas to inspect the projects of comprehensive renovation of the old communities and construction of the livable demo residential area from August 8 to August 13. He supervised the progress of the projects and conducted a workshop discussion.

During the inspection, relevant project implementation units reported in detail the project progress, image, funding, difficulties, measures and next-stage plans, as well as gave suggestions.

Link: http://www.changzhou.gov.cn/ns_news/195156583372558

Emissions From China’s Urban Passenger Transport ‘Could Peak As Soon As 2020
12 Aug, 2019

Carbon dioxide emissions from China’s urban passenger transport sector could peak by as early as 2020.

That’s according to new research from the Beijing Institute of Technology, which suggests this could only happen so soon if the mode share of public transport could be further increased, which it predicts would mean the peak emissions level could be limited to between 171 to 214 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

It notes a more likely peak for urban passenger transport carbon dioxide emissions is 2030, when the sector would likely hit a maximum of 225 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The sector accounted for around a fifth of the total carbon emissions of China’s transport in 2016 and the report notes the carbon dioxide emissions of cars make up more than 60% of it – at less than 40% in most cities across China, use of public transport is much lower than figures elsewhere, such as 58.2% in Greater London, 65% in Hong Kong and 61% in Tokyo.

Source: https://www.energylivenews.com/2019/08/12/emissions-from-chinas-urban-passenger-transport-could-peak-as-soon-as-2020/

How Green Buildings Are Essential To Our Well-Being
08 Aug, 2019

The demand for green buildings has risen sharply in recent years. One study of 7,100 buildings found that 90% were improving energy efficiency by at least 10%.

The most obvious benefit of green buildings is that they help the environment. But there are other benefits as well that get less publicity.

Green design is an architectural movement that has gained a lot of momentum in recent years. It has been growing steadily since the turn of the century.

The main focus is still largely on the environmental, which includes making structures as energy and water efficient as possible. However, there has been a new branch of the green building movement that has gained traction as of late. This new sustainability trend is known as the healthy building movement. It takes a holistic design approach that considers the construction of a building and its inhabitants as deeply intertwined.

Source: https://blueandgreentomorrow.com/environment/how-green-buildings-are-essential-to-our-well-being/

E-Scooter Sharing Scheme Increasingly Popular In Rome
24 Jul, 2019

Electric scooters are nothing new in Rome, but this summer the sharing system is rapidly increasing in popularity among residents and visitors of the Italian capital. You may notice more and more often the circulation of the new form of urban micro-mobility on city streets. Rental costs to unlock the scooters is 1 euro, followed by a fix per minute rate, with a maximum speed of around 25km per hour. 

How do e-scooters work? First of all, you need to download the App, and register your credit card to pay the cost of the rides: 1 euro to unlock the scooter and 15 cents per minute for the ride. The vehicle is designed for short and fast journeys, the so-called last mile.

Source: https://www.themayor.eu/en/e-scooter-sharing-scheme-increasingly-popular-in-rome

Larnaca Installs Underground Bins Along Its Beach Areas
18 Jul, 2019

Work on installing underground bins began on Tuesday in the Phinkoudes, Mitsopoulos and Makenzy coastal areas of Larnaca. The municipality informed that the work, which will take several weeks to complete, was being done within the framework of its solid waste-reduction programme. A total of 64 bins will be placed at 16 different places. The municipality confirmed that the work was being carried out in a way so as to cause minimum inconvenience to visitors, taking into account the safety of the passing vehicles in the area.

“With the installation of the bins the problem of the visual pollution of the existing green bins will be radically solved as well as the problem of odours especially during the summer months. It will also increase the amount of recyclable materials collected from coastal recreation centres and hotels through the sorting of solid waste at source,” said Andreas Vyras, Mayor of Larnaca.

Source: https://www.themayor.eu/en/larnaca-installs-underground-bins-along-its-beach-areas

Atrani Municipality Becomes “Plastic Free”
16 Jul, 2019

The Italian Municipality of Atrani has announced that it is saying goodbye to the use of disposable plastic starting from 18th August 2019. The decision was taken by the municipal administration led by the mayor Luciano de Rosa Laderchi. Thus, the Municipality of Atrani adopts in advance European Union legislation that aims to reduce the production of disposable plastic objects starting 2021. The Municipality of Atrani thus joins Cetara, Ravello, Minori and Agerola in the fight against plastic and the pollution that results from its use.

Starting from 18 August the usage of disposable plastic food and beverage containers by public operators during commercial or craft activities, as well as by tourist organizations (tour operators, travel agencies, etc.) which provide their customers with single-use endowments for the consumption of meals and drinks, will be forbidden throughout the municipal area of the coastal village of Atrani.

Source: https://www.themayor.eu/en/atrani-municipality-becomes-plastic-free

Bonn And Berlin First In Germany To Have 5G Coverage
13 Jul, 2019

Deutsche Telekom announced that their customers in some parts of Bonn and Berlin will now be able to access their brand new 5G network. 5G is all the rage in the past couple of years, following the many scandals surrounding the Chinese tech giant Huawei and its plans of developing such networks. Countries in Europe have also been scrambling for ways to develop their own proper coverage systems. The work done by Deutsche Telekom is an important step in this journey into the future.

5G is an ultra-fast data network which is able to transmit data 1000 times faster than the 4G networks currently used by most citizens. Its main applicable purpose is for the development of future technologies and for use by self-driving cars, smart cities and connected factories.

Source: https://www.themayor.eu/en/bonn-and-berlin-first-in-germany-to-have-5g-coverage

China's ‘Green’ Supersonic Passenger Jets That Could Cut Flight Times In Half Set To Take To Skies By 2035
04 Jul, 2019

China is targeting the launch of ‘green’ supersonic passenger jets in 2035 that could halve traditional flight times.

Supersonic aircraft can fly faster than the speed of sound and are usually reserved for research and military purposes.

Only two supersonic planes have been used for passenger flights; the famous Anglo-French Concorde from 1976 to 2003, retired due to rising costs and falling demand, and Russia’s Tupolev Tu-144, which flew 55 flights across one year from 1977-78.

Source: The Telegraph - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/07/03/chinas-green-supersonic-passenger-jets-could-cut-flight-times/

India’s Water Commission Suggests Rewards And Punishment To Encourage Water Conservation
04 Jul, 2019

A significant part of India is facing water scarcity, while a latest government report holds that India is not a water deficit country but that the scarcity is on account of severe neglect and lack of monitoring of water resources and development projects. It noted that several regions in the country experience “water stress from time to time”.

It warned that any “further neglect in this sector will lead to water scarcity in future” and recommended that “imposing regulatory measures to prevent the misuse of water and introducing rewards and punishment to encourage judicious use of water, will be helpful to conserve water.”

It also called for awareness and orientation of all the water users to “change their lifestyle to conserve water” to ensure that India tides over the water crisis in the future and emphasised that the “challenge is manageable provided we have favourable policies and mechanisms to persuade our people to change their lifestyle.”

Source: CNBC - https://www.cnbctv18.com/economy/indias-water-commission-suggests-rewards-and-punishment-to-encourage-water-conservation-3899791.htm

Backers Of Lamu Coal Project Lose Court Case
04 Jul, 2019

Backers of Kenya’s Lamu coal plant have been instructed by the courts to conduct a new environmental impact assessment and halt work on the project, in a ruling celebrated by local environmental groups.

The mostly Chinese-financed plant is the biggest coal project in eastern and central Africa. Lamu county is on Kenya’s northern coast and includes a small archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The area is a World Heritage Site and a major draw for tourists.

The June 26 ruling by the National Environmental Tribunal cancelled the license given to Amu Power by the National Environment Management Authority.

“The people of Lamu and Kenyans finally have got justice three years after knocking on the doors of the Tribunal in 2016,” said Omar Elmawi, head of Decoalonize, a local activist group.

Construction of the project was expected to start in 2016 but was delayed following a legal challenge from Decoalonize and Save Lamu.

Source: China Dialogue - https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11355-Backers-of-Lamu-coal-project-lose-court-case

The Unwinnable Contest For Himalayan Water Resources
04 Jul, 2019

For millions of years, monsoonal winds have cycled between Asia’s tropical seas and the Tibetan Plateau, delivering snow to its high-altitude mountains and rains to the plains below them. The melting snow and summer rains combine to create a system of rivers that fan out from the mountains, delivering water and fertile soil to East, Southeast and South Asia.

Known as the Great Himalayan Watershed (GHW), this hydrological phenomenon has created richly diverse ecosystems and the right conditions for some of the world’s earliest agricultural and urban centres. The GHW encompasses most of Asia’s rivers—today around 45% of the world’s population depends on the watershed and it is home to many significant manufacturing centres and trade networks. Despite this, the GHW has received little public or political attention.

Increasing attention is now being paid to the watershed’s degraded state. Scientists, environmentalists and locals are particularly concerned about its glaciated headwaters and its deltas. Both are experiencing accelerated climate change and biodiversity loss.

Source: ASPI - https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-unwinnable-contest-for-himalayan-water-resources/

Geopolitics And The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
04 Jul, 2019

In June 2015, the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was agreed to by representatives of 50 countries in Beijing, China. The Bank started operating in January 2016 and its first four loans – totaling USD 509 million – were approved for Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. Moreover, a location in Beijing was chosen as the headquarters of this new multilateral banking organization.

The AIIB started with an initial capital of USD 100 billion. In order to keep things in perspective, the sum is roughly equivalent to Ecuador’s GDP. So far, it has approved projects related to hydropower, energy, motorways, tourism, dams, pipelines, and ports, amongst others.

This venture has captured considerable interest. For instance, some economists foresee the AIIB becoming a formidable competitor of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, entities established within the framework of the Bretton Woods system during the aftermath of World War Two, and whose governance has been historically controlled by Atlanticist powers ever since. In fact, this reality still persists in the early 21st century. However, that is hardly surprising if one considers that – more often than not – intergovernmental institutions reflect the interests of their creators.

Source: Geopolitical Monitor - https://www.geopoliticalmonitor.com/geopolitics-and-the-asian-infrastructure-investment-bank56/

Companies Profiting From Introduction Of Waste Separation Regulations
03 Jul, 2019

For a long time, most Chinese people have been accustomed to throwing away rubbish into bins at their will. This means that it may take some time for the process of "rubbish sorting" to fully embed itself into Chinese society, but some companies are already benefiting from such industry. 

On June 28, Jason Wang, the trade marketing manager of the UK-based household products seller Joseph Joseph, proudly introduced one of the brand's star products, a sortable rubbish bin, to a group of reporters at a supply-demand matchmaking meeting for exhibitors and buyers at the second China International Import Expo. 

The bin, which has special odor removing features, carries the high price of roughly 3000 yuan ($436). Despite the cost, price does not seem to be an issue for Chinese customers as the rubbish sorting trend sweeps across China. "We have sold out of this garbage sorting bin during this year's June 18 online shopping spree," Wang told reporters at the matchmaking meeting. Currently, the company is still replenishing stock for the bin.

Source: Global Times - http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1156610.shtml

Greening The Belt And Road Is Essential To Our Climate's Future
02 Jul, 2019

Climate change is the battle of the century. According to a 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report, the global temperature rise will likely 1.5°C as early as 2030. We may only have 12 years to act decisively in order to avoid catastrophic impacts on the planet and human beings. 

The focus of most climate action today is on cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by current major emitters in advanced and middle-income countries. However, GHG emissions from lower-income, developing countries, which are still comparatively small today, will likely grow strongly in the coming decades as those countries embark on a trajectory of urbanization and industrialization, just as Europe and the UK head towards net zero emissions. According to a joint study by Tsinghua University and Vivid Economics, the 126 Belt and Road countries, excluding China, currently account for about 20% of global GHG emissions, but this ratio may rise to around two-thirds by 2050 if the carbon intensity of these economies only falls slowly (in line with the historical patterns displayed by developed countries).

Source: World Economic Forum - https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/07/belt-and-road-climate-future-change-green/

Time Is Running Out For Sand
02 Jul, 2019

What links the building you live in, the glass you drink from and the computer you work on? Sand. It is a key ingredient of modern life and yet, astonishingly, no-one knows how much sand there is or how much is being mined.

Sand and gravel make up the most extracted group of materials, even exceeding fossil fuels. Urbanization and global population growth are fuelling an explosion in demand, especially in China, India and Africa. Roughly 32 billion to 50 billion tonnes are used globally each year, mainly for making concrete, glass and electronics. This exceeds the pace of natural renewal4 such that by mid-century, demand might outstrip supply. A lack of knowledge and oversight is allowing this unsustainable exploitation.

Source: Nature - https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02042-4

Why The Clean Energy Revolution Isn’t Taking Off In Russia
01 Jul, 2019

The world’s second-largest producer of crude oil and natural gas, Russia, has been said by many energy industry analysts to be too dependent on energy revenues. Indeed, the country gets as much as 40 percent of its federal revenues from oil and gas exports. And it's no secret that Russia isn't exactly famous for renewable energy. Does Russia have a future in a renewable energy world?

Forbes energy writer Ariel Cohen addressed this question in a recent article, adopting the optimistic view of renewables, noting “We have now entered the era of the renewable energy resource, whereby zero-emission electricity is generated via near unlimited inputs (solar radiation, wind, tides, hydrogen, and eventually, deuterium). Cutting-edge, smart electric grids, utility-scale storage, and electric self-driving vehicles – powered by everything from lithium-ion batteries to hydrogen fuel cells – are critical elements of this historic energy transition.”

Source: Oil Price - https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/Why-The-Clean-Energy-Revolution-Isnt-Taking-Off-In-Russia.html#

MIT And KTH Will Collaborate On Urban Planning And Development In Stockholm
16 Jun, 2019

MIT and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden’s leading technological and engineering university, have announced a research collaboration focused on urban planning and development in Stockholm, Sweden.

The KTH-MIT Senseable Stockholm Lab will use artificial intelligence, big data, and new sensor technologies to help the city evolve into a more livable and sustainable metropolis. The City of Stockholm is part of the collaboration, which will commence work this spring and is planned to span five years.

The announcement was made during the recent 2019 Forum on Future Cities at MIT, a conference produced in association with the World Economic Forum’s Council on Cities and Urbanization.

Source: MIT News - http://news.mit.edu/2019/mit-kth-launch-research-collaboration-urban-planning-development-stockholm-sweden-0516

Strengthening Planning And Usage Control And Achieving Quality Improvement Of Urban Delicacy Management
03 Jun, 2019

Zhuhai will systematically promote the national land space planning while taking into account both economic development and environmental protection.

It will further reconcile the provincial land space planning. By using the third national land survey results, it will simultaneously promote Zhuhai’s national land space planning, striving to complete before the end of the year and effectively playing the guiding role of strategy and the role of rigid control. The planning will consider both people’s livelihood and livability, to complete special and detailed planning at high level. It will complete the planning of forest towns, the overall planning of nature reserves, the planning of forest management and the planning of state-owned forest farms, the special plans for promotion of district-level urban renewal, so to promote the landmark projects such as urban balconies, Fenghuangshan Mountain and Banzhangshan Mountain viewing pavilions and to improve the urban livability. 

Source: WeChat — Guangdong Natural Resources

29 Key Projects Are Contracted In Wujin District Of Changzhou With A Total Investment Of RMB 18.95 Billion 
03 Jun, 2019

Recently, it was learned from the municipal housing and urban-rural development department that 19 projects including the project of construction of the Baizhang Cheliang Section of the Rail Transit Line No. 1 of Changzhou City, which is undertaken by the Third Construction Co., Ltd. of China Construction Eighth Engineering Division, were named one of “2018 New Technology Application Demonstration Projects of Jiangsu Construction Industry”. 

It is understood that the Provincial New Technology Application Demonstration Projects of Jiangsu Construction Industry refers to the projects that should apply at least 6 technologies stated in the 10 New Technologies in the Construction Industry as recognized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, at least 2 technologies in Jiangsu Province’s 10 New Technologies in the Construction Industry (2011 edition), and some other new technologies adopted by the enterprises themselves according to their project characteristics and features. The 10 new technologies proposed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development include the foundation and underground space engineering technology, concrete technology, steel and prestressing technology, formwork and scaffolding technology, steel structure technology, electromechanical installation engineering technology, green construction technology, waterproof technology, seismic strengthening and monitoring technology, and information application technology.

Source: http://www.changzhou.gov.cn/ns_news/160155952359861

Implementation Plan Of The PPP Project Of The Diversion Subproject Of The Second Water Source Project Of Guilin City 
01 Jun, 2019

Guilin Municipal Government held a meeting for jointly review the implementation plan of the PPP project — the water diversion subproject of the second water source project of Guilin City and the cost. Guilin invited senior experts and relevant functional departments of counties and districts to make suggestions for the project in order to create a replicable and scalable implementation paradigm in which the city’s water supply projects use social capital.

The second water source project of Guilin City is an important deployment of the Guilin Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government to implement the requirements of the State and Guangxi autonomous region on enhancing security of drinking water for the city. It is an urgent need for the city to improve water quality and supply security and meet the environmental protection requirements of water. It is composed of two parts: the water diversion subproject and the Xicheng water plant subproject. Among them, the water diversion subproject will use the PPP mode (Public-Private-Partnership), which is a model of cooperation between government and social capital. It includes the water intake at Qingshitan Reservoir (including tunnel) and the raw water pipeline, and will supply 400,000 tons of water per day — the designed supply capacity.

Source: http://www.guilin.gov.cn/cxjs/201905/t20190529_1159905.htm

The Pilot Project Of Guarantee Insurance For Qingdao City’s Construction Industry Produces Initial Results
31 May, 2019

In order to effectively solve the problem that it takes too much deposits in the construction industry that results in shortage in working capital in construction companies, since October 2018, the Municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau has taken the lead in launching the pilot guarantee insurance project for the industry in the city. It carried out 5 types of insurances including construction project quality defect warranty, construction project owner payment, construction project bid, construction project contract performance, and migrant workers’ wages to replace the various types of deposits. Up to now, the city has carried out 2,366 transactions of various types of guarantee insurances, and saved corporate funds by RMB 1.73 billion, effectively alleviating the financial pressure on construction enterprises.

Source: http://sjw.qingdao.gov.cn/n28356047/n32561134/n32561154/190531133258785432.html

The City Started The Fifth Batch Of New Urbanization Demonstration Township Construction
31 May, 2019

The fifth batch of 14 new urbanization demonstration towns in Guilin City will be completed by the end of December 2020. By then, it will create a new pattern in Guilin where the urban and rural areas are integrated, the production and life spaces are well arranged, and a more harmonious and orderly prefecture will show to the world. The rural landscape improvement action plan is, during the three years (2019-2021) of time, to implement special environmental remediation for 12,836 villages in the prefecture that have barely invested by the government previously. This year, it will basically cover the improvement for 3,849 villages that will show initial results.

In the development of all projects, all counties and districts should make consensus, raise awareness, and earnestly enhance their sense of responsibility and urgency in promoting the new urbanization in townships and improving rural landscape in the three years. In addition, the projects should be carried out by looking into local economic foundations, natural conditions, historical culture and other factors, and adapting to local conditions with rational layout, while particularly preventing the manner of “one size fits all”. Projects should make good use of rural characteristics and local advantages, and create a pattern of “each village with a brand product, each village with a unique scenic spot, and each village with one special flavor”. Moreover, they should adhere to the philosophy of sustainable development, strengthen comprehensive environmental improvement in the demonstration towns and villages, and strive to build a Guilin “urban and rural integration, ecological beauty, cultural diversity, wealth and harmony”.

Source: http://www.guilin.gov.cn/cxjs/201905/t20190531_1160553.htm

24 Key Projects With A Total Investment Of RMB 7.4 Billion Being Launched In Changzhou New & Hi-Tech Zone 
31 May, 2019

Changzhou New & Hi-tech Zone held the second key project commencement ceremony on May 31, 2019. This ceremony inaugurated 24 key municipal and district projects, including Jiangsu Dechun High Voltage Electric Power Cabinet Project, with a total investment of RMB 7.4 billion.

In recent years, the New & Hi-tech Zone has conscientiously implemented the decisions and arrangements made by the municipal party committee and the municipal government, and took such major projects as top priority in the economic development. It puts efforts to project recruitment, and continuously improves project services. And it has made new breakthroughs in construction of major projects. Since the beginning of this year, it has introduced 47 new high-quality projects, with a total investment of RMB 40.57 billion. Moeover, the provincial government, on behalf of the municipality and the new & hi-tech zone, has signed with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to introduce the project of Integrated Application Innovation Service Platform of National Space Information. 8 provincial key projects, 59 municipal key projects (including 10 projects newly registered on book), and 182 key district projects are making solidly progress in accordance with the schedule.

Source: http://www.changzhou.gov.cn/ns_news/670155934939026

Hong Kong’s Harbourfront Commission Approves Plan For Eco-Friendly Footbridge Linking Central Wan Chai To Victoria Harbour
29 May, 2019

The proposed design of an eco-friendly footbridge meant to provide a faster, more enjoyable walk from central Wan Chai to the waterfront has been approved by Hong Kong’s harbour oversight body.

The Harbourfront Commission’s Hong Kong Island task force was in favour of the project on Tuesday, asking the government to merely fine-tune the proposed walkway with an eye to additional features such as food and drink concessions and more cover.

Source: South China Morning Post - https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3012190/hong-kongs-harbourfront-commission-approves-plan

The Municipal Housing And Urban-Rural Development Bureau Held The 2019 Meeting For Promotion Of Town-Level Sewage Treatment Facility Construction And Operation
28 May, 2019

In order to further accelerate the construction of the second batch of 16 town-level sewage treatment facilities in the city during the “13th Five-Year Plan”, enhance the operation of the completed town-level sewage treatment facilities, and realize the goal of building sewage treatment facilities across the town-level areas during the “13th Five-Year Plan”, the Liuzhou Municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau organized and held the 2019 meeting for promotion of town-level sewage treatment facility construction and operation on the morning of May 28, 2019.

This year, the Autonomous Region’s Housing and Urban-Rural Development Department pointed out that it has included the construction of the second batch of 16 town-level sewage treatment facilities in Liuzhou during the “13th Five-Year Plan” into its plan of performance appraisal over local officials. It said that the project should be completed by the end of the year under the Performance Appraisal Requirements and the construction of sewage treatment fee collection mechanism in each county, district and township. It requires all departments and units should give full play to the role of performance appraisal manager to further encourage leaders and personnel at all levels to take up their responsibility. 

Source: http://www.lzhc.gov.cn/gzdt/201905/t20190528_1288795.html

Clean Hydrogen Power Can Refuel Debate For Transportation Industry
28 May, 2019

As the global energy transition unfolds, conventional power sources that rely on hydrocarbon-based fuels are gradually relinquishing market share to low and zero emission alternatives. These shifts have been most dramatic in the power sector, where cheap wind and solar energy have already started to displace dirty coal.

The transportation sector is no different. Full battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) like the Tesla Model 3, the Chevy Bolt, and the Toyota Prius Prime (respectively) are disrupting in an industry that has been dominated by the internal combustion engine (ICE) for the past 100 years. In fact, the electric vehicle market showed year-over-year growth of 57% in 2018 with over 3 million electric vehicles now on the road. But when it comes to substitutes for petroleum powered engines, electric cars aren’t the only game in town.

China has committed to further research into hydrogen production into its transportation sector, with China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. indicating continued progress in its hydrogen industry plan. Government subsidies have already helped propel China to become an industry leader in renewable energy and electric vehicles.

Source: Forbes - https://www.forbes.com/sites/arielcohen/2019/05/28/clean-hydrogen-power-can-refuel-debate-for-transportation-industry/#2c430bce691a

China Is Refusing To Take 'Foreign Garbage' From The US, So These 6 Cities Are Burning Or Throwing Away Your Recycling
28 May, 2019

Prior to 2018, most of the country's recycled waste was shipped to China, where it was converted into new uses like shoes, gadgets, and plastic products. That all changed on January 1, 2018, when China officially banned the import of "foreign garbage," a category that includes 24 types of recyclable and solid waste. 

Though China previously sorted through waste to separate out recyclable materials, officials determined that there was too much trash mixed in to make it worth their while. Now Malaysia, which became a prime dumping ground for the world's plastic in the wake of China's ban, faces a similar issue.

Source: Stamford Advocate - https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/China-is-refusing-to-take-foreign-garbage-13828932.php

FCC To Develop Energy-From-Waste Facility In Scotland
28 May, 2019

The modern waste management compound sponsored by FCC, whose construction will involve the investment of 350 million pounds (around 400 million euro), is designed to respond to this deficit, whilst maintaining the current employment at Greengairs.

Central to the plan will be the construction of an energy-from-waste facility (EfW), the Drumgray Energy Recovery Centre (DERC), that will receive pre-treated residual, non-recyclable, non-hazardous waste otherwise destined for landfill. FCC will use EfW technology to thermally treat the waste to generate electricity and heat. The Drumgray ERC will accept up to 300,000 tonnes of residual household and business waste per year, enough to export circa 25.5 megawatts of electricity and the potential to supply heat to local homes and businesses.

Source: Waste 360 - https://www.waste360.com/waste-energy/fcc-develop-energy-waste-facility-scotland

Promoting The Integration Of Luohe River And Jihe River To Build A Demonstration Zone For Modern Metropolitan Areas In Northwestern Henan
27 May, 2019

The city has accelerated its integration-based development with cities in northwestern Henan such as Pingdingshan, Sanmenxia and Jiyuan. This is made in order to thoroughly implement the State Council’s decision-making arrangements for nurturing the development of modern metropolitan areas; and it is also to implement the new strategic positioning of Luoyang proposed in the provincial tenth party congress that calls for comprehensively promoting the construction of a transformative and innovative development demonstration. Among the nearby cities, Jiyuan is closely adjacent to Luoyang; its transportation is closely linked to Luoyang; and the cooperation shows a very long history. In order to promote the integrated development of transportation infrastructure between Luoyang City and Jiyuan City, Luoyang’s Municipal Political Consultative Conference and Jiyuan’s Municipal Political Consultative Conference jointly organized a research over the Luoyang-Jiyuan Integration. Our Commission also participated in the special research group to investigate the infrastructure construction of the two cities.

Source: http://www.ly.gov.cn/zwgk/zwdt/bmdt/895207.shtml

Sustainability Is The Need Of The Hour For Real Estate Sector
23 May, 2019

Sustainable Living has been gaining significant importance owing to the mindset change among the environment conscious individuals. The rapid degradation of the planet and resulting ill-effects on the environment has sounded alarm bells globally. The call for sustainable living has come about due to rapid urbanization, and the cities turning into concrete jungles. The fast depleting green cover and open areas have given way to high rises and concrete blocks. There has been a growing concern among people to safeguard and protect the planet from self-destruction. Real Estate developers need to work cohesively towards building a sustainable future for the coming generations as well.

Source: Entrepreneur - https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/334184

World Bank Loans To Support Green Infrastructure In Yangtze River Delta
23 May, 2019

The World Bank has approved a 200-million-U.S.-dollar loan to support green urban investments in China's Yangtze River Delta region.

The bank's board of executive directors approved the loan to the green urban financing and innovation project, which will help launch and operate the Shanghai Green Urban Financing and Services Co. to focus on sectors of water, wastewater and solid waste management.

The project will bring innovative solutions to help China meet its environmental investment needs and achieve its climate targets under its nationally determined contribution, said Martin Raiser, World Bank country director for China.

The bank expects the country's environmental infrastructure financing needs between 2014 and 2030 to be between 40.3 trillion yuan (about 5.8 trillion U.S. dollars) and 70.1 trillion yuan. Low-cost, long-term financing mechanisms are urgently needed, especially for small cities and towns whose infrastructure needs are poorly served by current financing frameworks.

Source: China.org.cn - http://www.china.org.cn/business/2019-05/23/content_74813749.htm

Qingdao Municipal Housing And Urban-Rural Development Bureau Actively Made “The Pingdu-Laixi Breakthrough”.
22 May, 2019

In recent years, the Municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau has greatly shifted the driving forces of construction industry. It vigorously promoted the development of prefabricated buildings and green buildings, and actively carried out investment promotion that builds a solid foundation for enterprises to invest and settle down in the prefecture. Through the early active visits and negotiations, on May 16, 2019, the Pingdu Municipal People’s Government and China Construction Science & Technology Co., Ltd. held the cooperation signing ceremony in Beijing. 

Deputy mayor LIU Jianjun expressed his heartfelt congratulations on the cooperation between the two parties. He expressed that Qingdao Municipality will continue to increase policy support, improve the application scales and technology levels of fabricated building, and provide follow-up services to encourage enterprises to explore potential market space. The Municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau and Pingdu Municipal People’s Government will strengthen the cooperation to promote the development of prefabricated buildings and green buildings in the city, which will increase both economic and social benefits.

Source: http://sjw.qingdao.gov.cn/n28356047/n32561134/n32561154/190522165453338017.html

China Uniquely Placed To ‘Green’ Shipping
21 May, 2019

In a world where 80% of the volume of international trade is carried by ship, China has a far bigger role in “greening” global trade than most people realise. The global shipping sector emits more of these gases each year than all but the top five emitting countries, at almost 1 gigatons of CO2 equivalent. Getting these emissions under control had eluded governments for more than 20 years, after the 1997 Kyoto protocol tasked them with working through the IMO to do so. China’s support was crucial to the adoption of the UN International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) landmark deal to at least halve the global shipping sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, signed in April last year by more than 100 IMO member states.

Source: China Dialogue Ocean - https://chinadialogueocean.net/8170-china-uniquely-placed-to-green-shipping/

UK Aims To Be Global Green Finance Hub
20 May, 2019

A UK government minister said that one of the priorities for the country after it leaves the European Union is to become a global hub for green finance.

John Glen MP, economic secretary to the Treasury, gave a keynote speech at the City Week 2019 conference in London this morning. Glen said other priorities, in addition to green finance, are fintech, India and China.

He said: “More than 100 green bonds have been listed in London to date, from 16 countries raising $26bn (€23bn). Our aim is to establish the UK as the undisputed global hub of green finance, with links to all the major markets.”

Glen noted that in addition to green bonds, other initiatives gaining traction include green loans, green mortgages and environmental, social and governance (ESG) exchange-traded funds. 

Source: Markets Media - https://www.marketsmedia.com/uk-aims-to-be-global-green-finance-hub/

EU Cities Join Forces For More Sustainable Tourism
14 May, 2019

Up to 26 cities, including Copenhagen in Denmark, Lanzarote in Spain and Krakow in Poland, have signed a charter of commitments that reflects the intention of local and regional authorities to reduce waste generation and transition towards a circular economy.

Tourism is the third largest economic sector in the EU and is closely interlinked with other important areas like culture, food and even sports.

But tourism, as well as other leisure activities, is associated with a significant environmental impact resulting from infrastructure, transport and waste generation, as well as water and energy consumption.

“Tourism has an important socio-economic impact but also negative consequences due to unsustainable consumption,” project manager Michelle Perello explained during the final conference of the Urban Waste project for waste management in tourist cities, last week in Brussels.

Source: Euractiv - https://www.euractiv.com/section/circular-economy/news/eu-cities-join-forces-for-more-sustainable-tourism/

Strengthening The Protection Of Historical Culture, Guiding The Counties To Promote The Delineation Of Historical And Cultural Blocks And Of Historical Buildings
14 May, 2019

On May 10, 2019, the Municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau organized a training for the heads and backbones of the housing and urban-rural development bureaus of counties under the jurisdiction of Liuzhou, in order to enhance their capability in historical and cultural block demarcation and historical building confirmation.

This training emphasizes the importance of fully comprehending and thoroughly implementing the important speech spirit of President Xi Jinping during his Guangzhou inspection, and the importance of strengthening the protection of historical culture and enhancing cultural self-confidence. The training made specific interpretation and experience sharing in regards to the criterions of delineation of historical and cultural blocks, discovery and publication of historical buildings, planning, filing and listing, repair and maintenance technologies, based on the sorting and summary of the prefecture’s experiences of delineating the historical and cultural blocks and determining the historical building; and by looking into the requirements for launching the historical building survey and determination in counties across-the-board that were not designated as historical and cultural cities previously as required by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in 2019. 

Source: http://www.lzhc.gov.cn/gzdt/201905/t20190514_1284589.html

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06 May, 2019

New rules and initiatives to support communities wanting to produce their own renewable energy could help ordinary people play a key role in the European Union’s transition to clean energy.

These moves, which include new EU legislation and the rollout of so-called living labs around Europe, look set to bolster people’s growing push to get involved in producing clean energy.

As renewables have become more market-driven and regulation has lagged, however, community-based initiatives have struggled to compete because of the lack of consistent and clear frameworks to support them.

But things could change following the introduction of new clean energy rules adopted by the European Parliament in March, which are set to take effect early next year. The rules aim to support people in their efforts to establish their own energy projects and consume, store and sell what they produce. No common EU rules for such ‘prosumers’ previously existed.  

Source: Horizon - https://horizon-magazine.eu/article/homemade-energy-gets-boost-go-mainstream.html

Persevere In Ecological Environmental Protection
01 May, 2019

On the morning of May 31, Mr. WEI Ge, member of the Standing Committee of the Municipal Party Committee and Secretary-General of the Committee, led a team to research the ecological environmental protection and the implementation of the Forestry Leader System in the Sanhe National Wetland Park in Feixi County, Anhui Province. At the site, they observed the Taiping Dyke in the Sanhe National Wetland Park, the Sanchahe Section of the Yangtze River-Huaihe River Diversion Project.

The research team pointed out that it is necessary to set up the concept of ecological priority and green development, to thoroughly implement the ecological ideology of Mr. Xi Jinping, to handle the relationship between economic development and environmental protection, and to do a good job in ecological environmental protection. It is necessary to apply the suggestion of “look back” and the special inspection proposed by the central environmental protection inspector, to be creative in the work, to improve the style of work, and to comprehensively improve the management of Chaohu Lake. The team added it is necessary to implement the Forestry Leader System, improve the rules and mechanism, tighten the chain of responsibility, and implement the “leaders” responsibility system at all levels.

Source: http://www.hefei.gov.cn/xwzxdt/hfyw/201906/t20190601_2803980.html

China’s First Passive Forest Park Hotel Passed The Acceptance
23 Apr, 2019

On April 17, the passive energy-efficient renovation project of Shennongwan International Healthcare Holiday Hotel (Shennongwan Hotel), which was built by the Mightier Group’s Energy Efficient Housing Co., Ltd., passed the acceptance organized by Party A —and will open on May 1.

Shennongwan Hotel is located in Shennong Valley National Forest Park, Yanling County, Zhuzhou City, Hunan Province. It consists of one three-storey building and two two-storey buildings with a total construction area of 7,940 m2. The hotel’s acceptance marks the birth of the first passive hotel of Forest Park in China. The project is also the largest passive energy-efficient renovation project so far among such existing buildings known to the world.

The Shennong Valley Forest Park where the hotel is located is deep into the Luoxiao Mountains. The annual temperature there is low and the humidity is especially high, with an average annual rate of about 88%. Usually, tourists can only lodge in the surrounding farmers’ homestays, and the quilts will be easily damped and become musty that make them unbearable. After the passive transformation, it can not only solve the problem of mold in the rooms caused by indoor humidity, but can also effectively save energy and reduce operating costs.

Source: WeChat article: Nine-Five Green Building

The Enlightenment of Barcelona’s Development of Green and Smart City
04 Apr, 2019

Located in the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, Barcelona is close to the Mediterranean Sea and is the second largest city in Spain. It is a world-famous Mediterranean tourism city, and is also the most important trade and industrial base in Spain. Mentioning Barcelona, people may first come into mind of Messi and other football superstars; and secondly, scenery tourism. But few people have an idea that it is actually a model of green and smart city in the world.

Barcelona has long applied the concept of green and smart city to the city planning and construction. From information-based infrastructure, to smart social and public services, and to urban green and sustainable development, it has formed a tolerant and open system. The main measures that Barcelona took to create a green and smart city are as follows.

Carry out strategic top-level design, and pay attention to improving the welfare and quality of life of the citizens: The strategic top-level design is aimed to set up development direction, target, and implementation path. The top-level design is strategically focused on green and intelligence. It conducts planning and construction by centering on energy-saving, emission reduction and environment optimization, and takes sustainable development as its starting point and destination. It has achieved remarkable results for people’s livelihood in the areas of smart power supply, intelligent transportation, and intelligent heating and cooling, etc.

Sources: http://www.csso.com.cn/r1.php?id=5022

Xixian Planning to Develop Ecological Environment Management Projects In Fengxi New City
02 Apr, 2019

On April 2, Mr. YUE Huafeng, Chairman of Xi’an Municipal Political Consultative Conference and Secretary of the Party Working Committee of Xixian New District, investigated the construction of key projects in Fengxi New City. YUE Huafeng inspected the parks’ greening, river water quality, and learned about the project planning and progress in detail, and fully affirmed the project’s progress and effectiveness. He said that the Xinweisha Wetland Park is of great significance for improving the surrounding environment of the Western China Science and Technology Innovation Harbour Wisdom Uni-Town and improving the overall ecological environment of the Fengxi New City. 

Sources: http: //www.xixianxinqu.gov.cn/xwzx/xxyw/62833.htm

Qingdao Launched the “Six Hard Marine Battles”
02 Apr, 2019

Just two months after the contract was signed, the Qingdao Oceanic Vitality Zone, which invested 100 billion yuan, has begun the planning to construct a “City of the Future” in the West Coast New District in Qingdao. The series of promotion activities of Qingdao Port, themed as “Ocean Planning & Managing and Bonding & Co-developing the Port and the City (Linyi City)”, continued to further extend to the interior hinterland, allowing “the Sea Gate to bond the Central Plains”. 

The ocean is where Qingdao’s outstanding advantages and characteristics lie. At the beginning of the New Year, Qingdao has launched a “marine battles” that is aimed to replace old driving forces with new ones and promote high-quality development. It aims putting efforts to “six hard marine battles” in the areas of marine industry, marine ports, opening up, marine science and technology, marine ecology and marine culture. It is trying to turn its marine scientific research advantages and talent advantages into its industrial advantages, so to take the lead among the brother cities in the country in developing high-quality marine economy, and create a strong ocean economy with international appeal, competitiveness and influence.

Sources: http://www.qingdao.gov.cn/n172/n1530/n32936/190402083845922265.html

Luoyang Will Build 20 Community-Based Old-Age Care Service Centers 
01 Apr, 2019

On March 29, 2019 Luoyang government revealed that this year, the city will build 20 community-based old-age care service centers that combine both medical and old-age care service functions. 

The city-level and six county-level government demonstrating old-age care institutions will be completed and put into use. It will continuously renovate and upgrade townships’ old people’s nursing homes. For the three governments in the old-age care demonstrating counties of Yichuan, Songxian and Ruyang, they will take the lead in carrying out the services of medical assistance, food support, cleaning, bathing and patrol services; and built 3 home-based and community-based old-age care service demonstration zones in Jianxi, Xigong and Luolong. 

Sources: http://www.ly.gov.cn/lyzx/jrly/889105.shtml

Liuzhou Focusing on Accelerating Construction of Major Projects
01 Apr, 2019

Recently, the “Implementation Plan for the Activities of the Year of Breaking Through in the Construction of Major Projects” (hereinafter referred to as the “Plan”) was issued by the General Office of the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, aiming to focus on accelerating the construction of major projects and making breakthroughs during the construction. Many projects listed in the Plan are located in Liuzhou, including the Liuzhou-Guangzhou Railway Project and the Liuzhou Urban Rail Transit Project.

Among the industrial projects mentioned in the Plan, Liuzhou will strive to push forward the project of “Launching the Vehicle Valued More Than 100,000 Yuan”; establish the Liuzhou Dongfeng Motor Research and Development Center; further promote the development of new type transmissions and engines and push on the project of Liuzhou Smart Grid Industrial Park and the Liuzhou Intelligent Transportation Industrial Park. Finally, among the agricultural projects, Liuzhou will give impetus to the construction of the national modern agricultural industrial park in Liunan District. 

Sources: http://english.liuzhou.gov.cn/news/news1/201903/t20190321_1269553.htm

Hefei Accelerates the Improvement of Water Environment Quality 
01 Apr, 2019

In order to improve the flood control and drainage capacity of the Xuhe River and speed up the development and construction of the core area of the Binhu New District, Hefei government will take new measures for dredging of the Xuhe River System. A number of pollution control projects will be launched in the old city and the southern city to further improve the water environment quality of the Hefei downtown.

The Wulimiao Temple area will completely realize the diversion of rain water and sewage water.

It is said that the project for Xuhe River Dredging and Improvement of Riverside Auxiliary Facilities has entered the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) process. The project is generally east-west direction, ranging from Guangxi Road in the west to the Xuhe Pumping Station Gate in the east, with a total length of about 2.7 km.

The main contents of the project include pipe culvert, channel dredging, sewage interception along the river, water quality control, ecological restoration and other ancillary works for a total investment of 89.705 million yuan.

Sources: http: //www.hefei.gov.cn/xwzxdt/csbb/201903/t20190329_2744446.html

Guilin Accelerates the Construction of a Modern Urban Public Traffic System
01 Apr, 2019

Guilin will accelerate the creation of a modern urban public traffic system with the Guilin features of a “Comprehensive Connection, Green Mobility, Smart Travel, and Charming Public Traffic System”, to provide a safer, more convenient and comfortable traffic service for citizens and tourists.

The city will focus on accelerating the construction of an urban public traffic service system that is with the Transit Metropolis as a benchmark. It will speed up the construction of an urban public traffic service model with the characteristics of Green Mobility. And it will accelerate the construction of an urban public traffic service guarantee system with safety and stability as the bottom line. It will accelerate the establishment of urban public traffic management system based on technical means. Such important plan will require the supports of many departments and agencies involved in the urban public transport sector, to enable the people to share the results of transport reform and feel a sense of gain.

Sources: http: //www. guilin. gov. cn/cxjs/201903/t20190311_1099520. htm

Water Square Made up of Collected Rainwater in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
01 Apr, 2019

The Benthemplein Water Square is the world’s first water public space made up of collected rainwater. Located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the square not only provides an outdoor sports venue for the public, but also provides a theatre for local residents and tourists. The Water Square uses its proud rainwater harvesting technology to store water in publicly visible basins. It brings a touch of green to the densely populated Rotterdam. The square is also a versatile sports area for basketball, football, hockey and some street sports, and even has some stands in the surrounding. 

The irrigation of the flowers and trees is supplied by the automatic water discharge system, while the rainwater flows through the steel trough. The steel trough is laid according to the shape of the square. As a complement to the surrounding buildings, the water square redefined the public space and provides a self-sustaining green space for the surrounding community.

Sources: http://www.chla.com.cn/htm/2016/0322/247542_3.html

Berlin: Renewable Energy Capital
01 Apr, 2019

As the same with the whole Germany, Berlin no longer wants to just rely solely on a single new source of energy to provide electricity, but instead uses a kind of “wolves tactics” – a combination of hydro, wind, geothermal, solar, garbage biogas, biogas, or biomass, fuel cells, electric vehicles, etc. to feasibly and comprehensively advance to develop all possible energy technologies.

Relying on Germany’s strong and advanced technical strength, this idea that is seemingly fancy and arrogant does have the potential to be realized. Based on its talents and political advantages, Berlin has achieved a leading position in the world of its new energy development.

According to the statistics of the Berlin Municipal Government, the local solar energy industry accounts for 35% of all Germany, ranking the first in the country and this figure is still increasing. The Renewable Energy Law, which came into effect in 2000, not only proposes preferential policies such as compulsory power purchase and high-priced subsidies, but also sets up the differential subsidies for a variety of types of renewable energies in order to better match energy investments with different technologies and different costs. In addition, the subsidy period lasts up to 20 years, and it is a fixed rate, which allows investors to accurately calculate when their investment cost can be recovered and profitable. It is no wonder that the world’s major companies are rushing to Berlin. Not only solar energy, other renewable energies such as wind power, biomass and hydropower can be subsidized, but there are different subsidy rates due to different technology costs. 

Sources: http://www.chinagoabroad.com/zh/article/berlin-the-city-of-renewable-energy

Barcelona’s Superblock is the Charm of the City!
01 Apr, 2019

In order to improve the livability, vitality and competitiveness of the city and improve the living environment for the residents, Barcelona put forward the concept of “letting the streets serve for living from just for commutation”.

Based on this concept, Barcelona launched a program called “Superblock”, which does not mean constructing new buildings, but instead reutilizing the existing spaces to create a community that will have a series of quiet, comfortable, green spaces and service facilities. The Superblock is rebuilt based on the existing block texture in Barcelona. Within the blocks, it is mainly for the pedestrians and cyclists; while outside the blocks, it is for frequent motor vehicle flow, thus creating more public spaces and green environments for the block.

Sources: http://www.sohu.com/a/230526727_100166571

Zhuzhou Planning to Invest 634 Million Yuan in Promoting Green Action
01 Apr, 2019

On March 29, the Municipal Bureau of Landscape officially issued Zhuzhou City’s 2019 Landscaping Construction Plan for Creation of a National Ecological Garden City (hereinafter referred to as the “Plan”), confirming that Zhuzhou municipality is planning numerous projects within the “green welfare” sector.  Projects are divided into seven categories: parks, wetland landscapes, urban green corridors, road and square greening, upgrading the greening of old community’s landscapes, public toilet construction and others. A total of 61 green projects are planned for the year, with an annual total planned investment of 634 million yuan.  

Main infrastructure projects will be promoted to support the sustainable and efficient development of all planned projects.

 The urban green corridors are an important “skeleton” for the city. This year, the Ecological Landscape Belt at the Xiawan Port, the Ecological Landscape Belt at the Tianyuan District Self-employment Park, the Central Avenue’s Landscape Belt, the Shennong Ecological Belt, and the Civic Center Landscape, will be built as fast as possible. 

Sources: http://www.zhuzhou.gov.cn/articles/626/2019-3/218609.html

Zhuhai City Plans to Invest 143 Projects with a Total Investment of 96 Billion Yuan
01 Apr, 2019

Recently, the Municipal Development and Reform Bureau issued the Notice for Soliciting Public Opinion on the Three-Year Rolling Plan of the Government Investment Projects in Zhuhai City in 2019-2021. The municipal government plans to invest 143 projects in the next three years, with a total investment of 96 billion yuan.

Among the 143 projects, 51 unfinished projects will be continued in 2019. In the same year, 59 new projects are to be commenced as planned. In 2020, 31 new projects are to be commenced. And in 2021, 2 new projects will be commenced as planned.

The reporter reviewed the Notice and found that the 143 government-invested projects are mainly divided into 9 categories: rural infrastructure projects, medical health projects, culture and arts and sports projects, public education projects, public safety and social security projects, ecological protection and environmental governance projects, transportation infrastructure projects, municipal infrastructure projects, and other public service projects.

Sources: http://www.zhuhai.gov.cn/xw/xwzx_44483/zhyw/201904/t20190402_53218005.html

The Future of The Car in Amsterdam
29 Mar, 2019

More room for pedestrians, cyclists, playing children and green space – which means less room for cars. This is the vision of the College of Mayor and Alderpersons for the future of Amsterdam. Measures have already been taken to achieve it, including increasing parking tariffs and reducing the number of parking spaces.

Sources: https://www.amsterdam.nl/en/news/car-future/

Loan for Qingdao Business Start-ups Exceeded 2.5 Billion Yuan
29 Mar, 2019

In recent years, Qingdao Municipal Finance Department has fully exerted in fully supporting guaranteed loans for start-ups in accordance with the principles of high starting point, high architecture and wide inclusiveness. Up to now, the financial institutions in the city have issued 19,800 guaranteed loans for start-ups, worth 2.5 billion yuan. The loans have been used to promote entrepreneurship, and promote employment of more than 66,000 persons. With such practical actions, the Municipal Finance Department supports the development of the private economy, and promotes mass entrepreneurship.

Within such process, Qingdao Municipal Government is stickily focusing on three main elements: First is to increase policy support and help break the bottleneck in venture financing; Second is to improve the guarantee support system to reduce the cost of venture financing.; Third to innovate the credit guarantee model to lower the threshold for venture financing.

Sources: http://www.qingdao.gov.cn/n172/n24624151/n24626115/n24626129/n24626157/190329153207051480.html

Qingdao to Promote High-quality Development of Regional Economy
29 Mar, 2019

In 2018, Jimo District in Qingdao accelerated the comprehensive finance and wealth management reform, by taking the spirit of “replacement of old driving forces with new ones” as its main thread. It established the country’s first fund incubation base controlled by the regional equity market operation institution  to build a comprehensive service platform that covers the full fund industry chain of “fundraising, investment, management and exit”. By such efforts, it aims to promote a virtuous cycle and healthy development between the economy and finance, and inject new vitality into the economy for high-quality regional development.

At present, the Fund Workshop has attracted 71 private equity funds such as Morgan Stanley Securities, CITIC Securities, Taifu Excellence, Henglan Zelin, etc. The total scale of funds management is over 20 billion yuan. Moreover, the Fund can play the function of investment attraction; successfully introducing some emerging industries within Jimo District. 

Sources: http://www.qingdao.gov.cn/n172/n24624151/n24626115/n24626129/n24626157/190329163236683038.html

Qingdao Seeks to Increase Governmental Debt Limits to Support the City’s Key Project Construction
29 Mar, 2019

Since 2015 when the new budget law came into force, issuance of local government bonds has become the only way for the government’s debt financing. Under the correct leadership of the municipal party committee and municipal government, the Municipal Finance Department actively reported to China’s Ministry of Finance on the financial pressure faced by the city in the construction of major public welfare projects, and obtained an understanding and strong support from the Ministry. 

According to the unified deployment of the Ministry of Finance and the principle of “Issue early, fund-use early, and see early effectiveness”, the city has launched this year’s government bond issuance in January. Up to now, it has successfully issued 10.2 billion yuan of local government bonds, including 5.7 billion yuan of general bonds, and 4.5 billion yuan of special bonds. The raised money will provide a strong financial support for the construction of public welfare projects such as traffic system, Yellow-river West-east Diversion Project, and shantytown renovation.

In the next step, the city will promptly and scientifically allocate the newly-increased debt limits in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Finance. It will further accelerate the bond issuance. And it will use the raised funds to increase financial support for key projects of national, provincial and municipal governments, so to make better play of government bonds to stabilize investments, expand domestic demand and strengthen the economy weak points.

Sources: http://www.qingdao.gov.cn/n172/n24624151/n24626115/n24626129/n24626157/190329163721485534.html

Bologna New Urban Structure Planning
28 Mar, 2019

Located in northern Italy, Bologna is the capital of Emilia-Romagna province. It is one of the oldest cities in Italy and has a rich history and experience of urban planning. In July 2007, Bologna cancelled its original land-use-oriented regional spatial planning. It approved a new planning system that is composed of the Urban Structure Planning (PSC: Piano Strutturale Communale), Urban Planning and Construction Regulations (RUE: Regolamento Urbanistico Edilizo) and Urban Action Plan (POC: Piano Operativo Comunale). 

In this system, the Urban Structure Planning will analyze the process of urban development and spatial extension, propose development strategies that can be coordinated with other cities, and specify physical spaces for these development strategies. The Urban Planning and Construction Regulations proposes a series of rules for urban development, to connect and integrate different “urban elements” (building units, open spaces, etc.) and urban segments. The Urban Action Plan organizes to implement relevant projects and formulate policies based on the formulated strategy and developmental priorities proposed in the Urban Structural Planning. 

Sources: https://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_2985856

Xixian investigating the treatment of Black and Odorous Water in Fengxi New 
28 Mar, 2019

CHEN Mo, member of the Party Working Committee of the New District and Chief Planner, investigated the treatment of black and odorous water in the Fengxi New City. 

Mr. CHEN Mo also reviewed the progress of the Xinhe River remediation project and the water quality. He exhorted that all on-going projects  should adhere to the treatment standards such as“controlling source of wastewater, enhancing endogenous treatment, dredging runoff water, ecological restoration, and long-term management”, ensuring that all sections not be ignored, the order not be in chaos, and the standard not be reduced. Then, it is necessary to strengthen institutional development, establish a long-term mechanism, implement the “river-supervisor system”, strengthen the rule of law, and effectively improve the quality and efficiency of long-term management.

Sources: http://www.xixianxinqu.gov.cn/xwzx/xxdt/59675.htm

Accelerate the Promotion of New Energy Vehicles
28 Mar, 2019

Liuzhou City is launching a series of exchange activities for the development and promotion of new energy vehicles. 

At the event, more than 100 new energy vehicles of different models, such as Baojun E100, Baojun E200 and Lingzhi M5EV, brought by the "Promotion Team" from Liuzhou, impressed the government officials and citizens in Laibin City. The officials of Laibin City learned more about the new energy vehicles, personally took part in a test drive, and then signed a memorandum of understanding on the new energy vehicle promotion between the two cities. Feng Haifeng, Member of the Standing Committee and Head of the Organization Department of the CPC Laibin Municipal Committee, expressed admiration for the way in which Liuzhou promoted new energy vehicles. He said that Laibin City would fully support the promotion of the "Liuzhou Model" of the new energy vehicles, so as to strive to advance the healthy and rapid development of new energy vehicle industry in Laibin City as a whole.

Source: http://english.liuzhou.gov.cn/news/news1/201903/t20190314_1267792.htm

“Hefei Made” Talent Apartment Becomes a Provincial Architectural Demonstration Project
25 Mar, 2019

On March 25th, 34 projects of the city were officially selected into the Anhui Provincial Green Building and Prefabricated Building Demonstration Project. Among them, Hefei has got a number of talent apartment projects selected into one major Demonstration Project showing that the city’s architecture industrialization level is steadily improving.

The Provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development requires prefectural-level housing and urban-rural development departments to include the organization and implementation of the demonstration project into their key agenda, strictly supervise the demonstration project construction units to refine their project implementation plan, and organize the construction in an orderly manner. According to the plan, this year’s green buildings in the province will account for 45% of the newly built residential area, and the proportion of prefabricated buildings to the newly built building area will strive to reach 10%.

The Provincial Department hopes locals to ensure that the demonstration objectives and tasks be completed on schedule, so to successfully promote the high quality development of green buildings and prefabricated buildings in the province.

Sources: http://www.hefei.gov.cn/xwzxdt/csbb/201903/t20190326_2742284.html

Weihai City Launched the “2019 World Water Day and China Water Week” Campaign
23 Mar, 2019

On March 22, the publicity campaign called “Water Nourishing Weihai” – 2019 “World Water Day and China Water Week” – was launched in Weihai City. The City leaders ZHANG Hongwei, LI Wenji, GAO Shuliang and LI Shufang attended the event. GAO Shuliang pointed out that all departments and agencies at all levels should, by taking this event as an opportunity, bear in mind what the General Secretary XI Jinping enthusiastically said that “Weihai should develop towards an exquisite city”, and should meet the requirements of the municipal party committee and municipal government for fully assuring water security. He said departments and agencies at all levels should enhance cooperation, and jointly manage to do the “five issues”: to broadly store water, to trap rainfall water and other externally-introduced water, to desalinate sea water, to use reclaimed water, and to treat sewage water. The theme of this year’s “China Water Week” is “to adhere to water conservation priority and strengthen water resources management”. In recent years, the city has adhered to water conservation priority, and taps to new source of water. So far, the city has invested more than 5 billion yuan to implement a number of major projects such as rainwater resource utilization and river and reservoir greening and remediation. It has successfully won the approvals to create a pilot city for water-saving social innovation in China, so to ensure the city’s economic and social development.

Sources: http://www.weihai.gov.cn/art/2019/3/23/art_16952_1589545.html

Buiksloterham - Eco-City Case in Netherlands 
21 Mar, 2019

Buiksloterham is an ecological city in Amsterdam with areas of mixed functions or mixed usages. For example, a futuristic residential cluster is with an area of 100 hectares, and 1 million square meters of floor space, FSI = 1. It has 2700 inhabitant residences + 2000 private residences (collectives). In half of the residential houses, residents will be of large families, that is to say, families live together for a number of generations. In the Netherlands, this is called concentrated property development. While in the other half, their developments are led by the municipal government, mainly for some welfare housing or self-purchased housing. But development of the first type is mainly led by private owners.

Eva Lanxmeer

This is a small city with 244 households in the suburb. As you can see from the picture below, this small town is very green with very high green coverage ratio. People here hope to develop the area into an eco-city, and has made a good attempt. The public is very enthusiastic about developing eco-city. Local people implemented specific measures. The project has received great support from the local government.

The collection and use of rainwater made water reuse more efficient. All water resources are collected into a basin and processed through the sewage treatment system. In addition, the power generation system is also locally owned. So it can be said that this area is basically the best case for ecological protection.

Sources: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s__biz=MjM5Nzc3MjYwMQ==&mid=2650642896&idx=2&sn=2891fe801bf84145368dff12f5361d54&chksm=beddd58689aa5c90d4ab52239eb810da773766780027bf67479678ebbb7b34b0a3214ccc5a08

GWL Terre & Heerhugowaard - Eco-City Case in Netherlands 
20 Mar, 2019

GWL Tterrein is a district of Amsterdam. It used to be the site of natural gas and hydropower plants. The specific measures were taken for the district redevelopment and were initiated and planned by the local people.

The specifics are as follows: all the cars in the entire area are parked underground. No parking car can be seen from the ground. Some roofs are green. The area with more than 100 households is very densely dwelled. It has some high-rise buildings as well. These areas are similar to some residential areas with busy traffic that people usually see. As shown in the picture below, the highlight is its re-development and re-utilization of the sites of some original factories, and it is therefore famous.

In Heerhugowaard, solar panels are available in every house in this suburb to collect solar energy. There are more than 3,000 homes in this area, and each house has solar panels on the roof to collect solar energy. In terms of population density, this area is basically equal to a medium-dense city. In addition, this area also enjoys wind farms. Wind power and solar energy make the area energy-independent.

Sources: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s__biz=MjM5Nzc3MjYwMQ==&mid=2650642896&idx=2&sn=2891fe801bf84145368dff12f5361d54&chksm=beddd58689aa5c90d4ab52239eb810da773766780027bf67479678ebbb7b34b0a3214ccc5a08&scene=4#wechat_redirect

Guilin Vigorously Promotes the Construction of New Energy Vehicle Charging Points
18 Mar, 2019

In recent years, Guilin has successively implemented a number of low-carbon demonstration projects, mainly focusing on accelerating the construction of low-carbon transportation, and actively promoting the style of low-carbon living and green consumption. The charging capacity has increased year by year. According to the statistics of Guilin Power Supply Bureau, in 2016, the city’s power charged was 9305 kWh; in 2017, it was 156,000 kWh; in 2018, it reached 4.635 million kWh. In the past three years, the charging capacity of new energy vehicles has increased by 498 times.

In order to implement the national strategy of developing the new energy vehicle industry and fulfill the overall requirements for the promotion and application of new energy vehicles in Guangxi, in the next step, the Guilin Power Supply Bureau, which belongs to Guangxi Subsidiary of Southern Power Grid, will actively cooperate with the municipal party committee and the municipal government to attach great importance to ecological construction and environmental protection, and increase efforts to vigorously carry out the construction of new energy vehicle charging posts, so to provide a strong power guarantee for the construction of a clean, efficient, low-carbon and environmentally-friendly green urban transportation system.

Sources: http: //www.guilin.gov.cn/cxjs/201902/t20190227_1097390.htm

23 Key Projects Start Construction in Zhonglou With Total Investment Of 6.105 Billion
09 Mar, 2019

On the morning of March 9, Zhonglou District held the groundbreaking ceremony for key projects in 2019 and the first phase of the Zhigu Workshop. The 23 key projects are involved in the areas of new materials, new energy, intelligent manufacturing, creative culture and so on, with a total investment of 6.105 billion yuan and an annual planned investment of 3.632 billion yuan. Cao Jiazhong, member of the Standing Committee of CPC Changzhou Municipal Committee and executive deputy mayor of Changzhou, attended the event.

Among the newly started projects, there are 8 enterprises and programs settling in Smart Valley. The Valley is an important part of the Changzhou Science and Technology Block and a key platform for the gathering of “two new and one smart” industries in Zhonglou. The first batch of high-tech enterprises such as Truly Electronics, Yihua Cables and Amorsino Electronics are all with good industrial quality and will promote the industrial development of the Zhonglou Economic Development Zone.

Sources: http://www.changzhou.gov.cn/ns_news/410155347795273

29 Key Projects Signed in Wujin District With A Total Investment Of 18.95 Billion
01 Mar, 2019

On March 1, the signing ceremony for 29 key projects was held in Wujin district. With a total investment of 18.95 billion yuan, there projects are involved in advanced manufacturing, medical health, smart cars and modern service industries. City leaders Ding Chun, Liang Yibo and Li Lin attended the event.

Mayor Ding Chun said that he hopes Wujin will do a good job in project introduction at a higher starting point, promote the construction at a higher level, optimize the business environment with higher standards, and ensure high-efficiency launching, construction and production of these projects. It is hoped that the project investors will take root in Changzhou, establish high goals, continue to work hard and introduce more strategic partners into Changzhou.

This year, Wujin will focus on the high-end, intelligent, green, service-oriented and brand-building industrial development, in order to foster Wujin’s top 300 intelligent manufacturing companies and improve the comprehensive evaluation system for resource intensity of industrial enterprises. 

Sources: http://www.changzhou.gov.cn/ns_news/154155254933090 

China Encourages Insurers To Invest In Good Quality Stocks, Bonds
28 Feb, 2019

China is encouraging insurance institutions to invest in more good quality stocks and bonds to improve their portfolios, its banking and insurance regulator said on 28 January 2019. “This will help ensure stability in the capital markets and will allow insurers to improve their investment portfolios,” the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said in his brief statement.

Source: Reuters - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-regulator/china-encourages-insurers-to-invest-in-good-quality-stocks-bonds-idUSKCN1PM18P

Turning Desalination Waste Into A Useful Resource
13 Feb, 2019

The rapidly growing desalination industry produces water for drinking and for agriculture in the world’s arid coastal regions. But it leaves behind as a waste product a lot of highly concentrated brine, which is usually disposed of by dumping it back into the sea, a process that requires costly pumping systems and that must be managed carefully to prevent damage to marine ecosystems. Now, engineers at MIT say they have found a better way.

In a new study, they show that through a fairly simple process the waste material can be converted into useful chemicals — including ones that can make the desalination process itself more efficient.

The approach can be used to produce sodium hydroxide, among other products. Otherwise known as caustic soda, sodium hydroxide can be used to pretreat seawater going into the desalination plant. 

Source: MIT News - http://news.mit.edu/2019/brine-desalianation-waste-sodium-hydroxide-0213

Water Management in Surat – Resilient Cities in the Word!
12 Feb, 2019

India is making a big effort to face climate change and natural disasters which are more frequent every year. Populations must understand how to survive in such conditions and safety is not too much. That's why in Surat, they have decided to focus on water management.

As part of its Resilience Strategy development work, the city has prioritized cleaning the Tapi River and transforming Surats’ relationship with their primary body of water. Benefits will include clean drinking water for millions of citizens, enhanced potential for recreational areas along its corridor, and the restoration of its ecosystems.

Source: Emergency Live - https://www.emergency-live.com/news/water-management-in-surat-resilient-cities-in-the-word/

2019 Brings New Changes for Municipal Glass Recycling
11 Feb, 2019

Municipal waste services across the U.S. are considering whether to eliminate or revamp curb side collection of glass for recycling.

The start of 2019 has brought important changes to municipal waste services across the country as they determine whether to eliminate or revamp curbside collection of glass for recycling.

In Mt. Lebanon, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh, the decision has been made to phase out the glass collection service. “The solid waste and recycling is collected contractually in our community, and the contractors that submitted bids for the new contract indicated that they would no longer accept glass in the recycling stream,” says Rudy Sukal, Public Works director.

Source: Waste 360 - https://www.waste360.com/glass/2019-brings-new-changes-municipal-glass-recycling

Thousands of Green Taxis To Benefit From New Charge Points
10 Feb, 2019

Today (5 February 2019) the government has awarded more than £6 million to support ultra-low emission taxis right across the country, furthering its ambition for a zero emission future.

Announced at the Smart Transport conference by the Future of Mobility Minister, the funding will see almost 300 rapid charge points and 46 fast charge points installed for ultra-low emission taxis in 17 local authorities, including in Greater Manchester, Brighton and Hove, Leicester and the north east.

This announcement marks another milestone in the delivery of the government’s Road to Zero strategy and the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge which aims to usher in cleaner, greener journeys through UK engineering and technological innovation.

Source: Gov.Uk -https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-of-green-taxis-to-benefit-from-new-chargepoints

Smart City Is an Inevitable Trend for Hanoi
09 Feb, 2019

Recently, Hanoi started to develop smart city with the goal of building an e-government. The Hanoi People's Committee has oriented the establishment of a comprehensive and synchronous information technology system for general use throughout the city.

The exchange of activities of international cooperation in the field of information technology in Hanoi has been promoted. The city’s leaders have actively worked with foreign businesses to build the country’s largest data center complexes in Hanoi, including six data center complexes.

Besides, Hanoi’s authority has exchanged experience with the world’s leading IT corporations, signed cooperation agreements with Microsoft Corporation, Dell Technology Group on building e-government and smart city.

Source: Vietnamnet - https://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/society/217381/smart-city-is-an-inevitable-trend-for-hanoi.html

Asian Development Bank and AFD jointly lift funding for Asia Pacific
09 Feb, 2019

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and AgenceFranaise de Developpement (AFD) have jointly decided to increase their funding for projects in Asia Pacific by two thirds.

The pair signed an agreement on Friday lifting the $3 billion they committed to in the past 3 years, to $5 billion for the next 3 years.

The move will allow the pair to scale up their joint development efforts in the Asia and Pacific region.

Under the Partnership Framework Agreement (PFA) for 20162022 that ADB and AFD signed in October 2016, the two institutions had agreed to each dedicate $1.5 billion in cofinancing in the first 3 years of the 6-year agreement. ADB and AFD have now decided to increase the amount to $2.5 billion each in the next 3 years, bringing their combined commitment to $5 billion.

Source: Sierra Leone Times - https://www.sierraleonetimes.com/news/259446175/asian-development-bank-and-afd-jointly-lift-funding-for-asia-pacifci

Renewable Energy Investments Increased Five-fold Globally Over Past 15 Years
07 Feb, 2019

In the green building sector, the UK and International Finance Corporation (IFC) joined a partnership in blended concessional finance for climate change mitigation. Lebanese electricity distribution services received clean climate finance to increase its grid efficiency through deployment of new technologies. To ensure that energy-saving investments in electricity transmission and distribution technologies are aligned with the Paris Agreement on climate change, the World Resources Institute (WRI) presented a methodology to screen their mitigation impacts.

Source: IISD - https://sdg.iisd.org/news/investment-in-renewable-energy-is-clean-but-in-transmission-and-distribution-technologies-not-necessarily/

Poor Water Management Costing Pakistan Billions: Report
06 Feb, 2019

Despite being rich in water resources, Pakistanis continue to face water scarcity because of the country’s inability to properly manage, use and protect water resources for socioeconomic and environmental sustainability.

Pakistan’s poor water management is conservatively costing the country nearly 4 per cent of GDP or around $12 billion (Dh44.07 billion) per year, according to a new report from the World Bank.

These costs are dominated by the cost of poor water supply and sanitation as well as floods and droughts.

Source: Gulf News Asia - https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/poor-water-management-costing-pakistan-billions-report-1.61903819

Senior Chinese Official Urges High-Quality Development Of BRI
01 Feb, 2019

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on 31 January 2019 called for more efforts to realize high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and head of the leading group on advancing BRI development, made the remarks when presiding over a meeting of the leading group at which participants studied relevant remarks and instructions of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

Source: Xinhua - http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-02/01/c_137790382.htm

How Delhi’s Waste-To-Energy Plants Are Way Off The Mark
31 Jan, 2019

The waste-to-energy (WTE) plant in Delhi's Okhla has been worrying residents of SukhdevVihar for a while now. Its efforts to expand from 16 megawatt (MW) to 40 MW and add two more boilers to its existing three have made them take to roads several times.

Despite Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) norms saying that boilers, in case of explosion, will hazardously impact everything within 260-metre radius and a manual by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development saying such plants should be located no nearer than 300 meters from residences and industries, SukhdevVihar DDA Flats and Haji Colony are located 45 metres away from the plant. Also falling within the explosion impact zone are JamiaMilliaIslamiauniversity’s residence for women and the residences for staff and students of Central Road Research Institute and Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology.

Source: Down To Earth - https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/waste/how-delhi-s-waste-to-energy-plants-are-way-off-the-mark-63026

Tackling Waste: Cities Alliance Donates to Small Sanitation Firms in Liberia
31 Jan, 2019

The Cities Alliance Liberia Country Programme with funding from the European Union (EU) has delivered starter kits to three Community Based Enterprises sanitation firms and the National Association of Community Based Enterprises (NACOBE).

These CBEs are operating in the primary waste “hot spot areas” of Red Light market light Market, West point community and Clara town.

The donation intends to help support primary waste collection and to address some of the logistical challenges the CBEs face during the rainy season.

Source: Front Page Africa - https://frontpageafricaonline.com/business/tackling-waste-city-alliance-donates-to-small-sanitation-firms-in-liberia/

China Offered To Nearly Halve Cost Of Malaysia's $20-Billion Rail Project: Sources
31 Jan, 2019

China offered to nearly halve the cost of a $20-billion rail project to save the centerpiece of its infrastructure push in Southeast Asia, two sources said on 31 January 2019, but contradictory remarks by Malaysian ministers leave the outcome uncertain. The conflicting statements made over the past week on the status of the East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) underscore the political and diplomatic challenges facing the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in renegotiating the contract.

Source: Reuters - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-malaysia-railway/china-offered-to-nearly-halve-cost-of-malaysias-20-billion-rail-project-sources-idUSKCN1PP0QK

Green Building Materials Gain Adoption as Investment in Sustainable Solutions Grows
31 Jan, 2019

The evolutions in construction industry have increased demand for sustainable construction materials and techniques. In the last few years, the demand for green building materials has been witnessing significant growth, owing to stringent government regulations on emission reduction. Moreover, reduced maintenance and operational costs and less energy consumption are further accelerating the demand for green building materials. 

Various types of green building materials are gaining popularity in residential as well as commercial building owing to growing preference for materials that are energy-efficient, moisture-resistant, durable, and easy to maintain. Fiber cement siding, thermally modified wood, bamboo, fly ash and recycled plastic, are some of the green construction materials witnessing growing adoption in the construction industry.

Source: Globenewswire - https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/01/31/1708210/0/en/Green-Building-Materials-Gain-Adoption-as-Investment-in-Sustainable-Solutions-Grows-Fact-MR.html

As Questions Are Raised About ‘Belt And Road’, Projects Slow In Southeast Asia
31 Jan, 2019

China is reshaping the approach of its flagship “Belt and Road Initiative” in Southeast Asia, as Chinese projects in the region plunged last year amid growing global scrutiny of Beijing’s development strategy.

The value of newly announced big-ticket deals in the region – investment commitments and construction contracts worth more than US$100 million – dropped 49.7 per cent in 2018 to US$19.2 billion, its lowest in four years, according to analysis by Citi Economics, using data amassed by the US think tank American Enterprise Institute.

Source: South China Morning Post - https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/2183790/questions-are-raised-about-belt-and-road-projects-slow

First Green Building Inaugurated in Ajman
28 Jan, 2019

Ajman Municipality has begun work on its first green building with the pouring of green concrete for its central laboratory building, which is the first of its kind in the emirate and costs AED15m. The construction of the building is in line with the emirate’s green building system standards and is part of the department’s vision to create a sustainable environment and a modern structure for building the future of Ajman. The building will include sunlight-reflecting glass, which will insulate it and help save electricity, as well as thermal bricks that will be examined in the laboratory before they are used.

Source: Arabian Industry - https://www.arabianindustry.com/construction/news/2019/jan/28/first-green-building-inaugurated-in-ajman-6031792/

China's Crackdown on Pollution Is a Boon to the World's Shipbuilders
28 Jan, 2019

The world’s biggest shipbuilder sees China’s clean-up of its smoggy skies lifting prices of the vessels this year.

As China prioritizes dealing with the smog that has famously blanketed Beijing and other big cities, the world’s second-biggest economy is increasingly turning to liquefied natural gas as a replacement for coal for heating and other purposes, boosting imports of the cleaner fuel. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. expects orders for carriers of the gas to lead demand for new ships, Chief Executive Officer Sam H. Ka said.

Source: Bloomberg - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-28/china-s-crackdown-on-pollution-a-boon-to-world-s-shipbuilders

China’s Smog Battle Losing ‘Momentum’ In Some Regions, Environment Minister Says
28 Jan, 2019

Some regions in China have lost “momentum” when it comes to tackling pollution, with local officials blaming the country’s economic downturn on overzealous campaigns against smog.

Minister of Ecology and Environment Li Ganjie said while some impoverished regions were struggling to transform their old industrial economies, regional officials should firmly resist the notion that the “war on pollution” had undermined growth.

China’s gross domestic product grew 6.6 per cent in 2018, its lowest rate of increase since 1990, and Li’s speech reflects concern among senior Chinese officials that a deeper downturn could derail the country’s economic restructuring plans.

Source: South China Morning Post - https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/2183967/chinas-smog-battle-losing-momentum-some-regions-environment

China Three Gorges Halts Talks With EU Regulators On EDP Takeover: Sources
26 Jan, 2019

China Three Gorges halted talks with EU regulators about its proposed 9 billion euro ($10.3 billion) takeover of Portugal’s EDP-Energia de Portugal over a month ago, two sources close to the matter said, casting doubt on whether the deal will progress. Three sources close to the matter said CTG’s interest in lifting its stake in Portugal’s biggest company has waned due to a combination of factors including a leadership shake-up at the Chinese state-owned utility, the prospect of tougher EU regulations on foreign investment and higher European electricity tariffs.

Source: Reuters - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-edp-m-a-china/china-three-gorges-halts-talks-with-eu-regulators-on-edp-takeover-sources-idUSKCN1PJ2CN

Awash In Trash
25 Jan, 2019

The world is drowning in garbage. According to a recent World Bank study titled “What a Waste 2.0”, under current trends the world will generate 3.4 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste per year by 2050, up from 2.01 billion tonnes in 2016.

The solid waste has various sources. Food and other biodegradable waste comprises 44 % of the total. Close behind are dry recyclables such as plastic, paper, cardboard, metal and glass, with a combined 38 %. The rest spans a range of materials including wood, rubber and leather.

Plastic waste is a particular challenge – and far too much ends up in the oceans. “In 2016, the world generated 242 million tonnes of plastic waste – 12 % of all municipal solid waste,” the report says. “Unlike organic waste, plastic can take hundreds to thousands of years to decompose in nature.” This waste leads to considerable health and environmental damage, the report says: “Plastic waste is causing floods by clogging drains, causing respiratory issues when burned, shortening animal lifespans when consumed, and contaminating water bodies when dumped into canals and oceans.”

Source: Development and Cooperation - https://www.dandc.eu/en/article/tide-trash-rising-worldwide-causing-health-problems-and-environmental-damage

Green Fuel In Rotterdam To Receive Funding Boost
25 Jan, 2019

The Port of Rotterdam has made €5 million available via its Climate-Friendly Shipping scheme to fund maritime projects using low- and zero-carbon fuel.

Shipping companies, fuel and engine manufacturers and suppliers and shipping service providers operating out of the Port of Rotterdam will be able to access the funding if their project relies on green fuel options. The scheme, which will run until 2022, will focus on fuel projects which will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 50 per cent, including renewable and low-carbon fuels; though projects based around biofuels will have to show that their fuel is “advanced” and derives from residual or waste flows.

Source: Government Europa - https://www.governmenteuropa.eu/green-fuel-in-rotterdam/92043/

Submit Status Report On Solid Waste Management
24 Jan, 2019

The National Green Tribunal has slammed authorities for failing to act on reducing solid waste and asked chief secretaries of all states and Union territories to appear before it from March 1 with status reports of their actions and immediate future plans.

It asked the chief secretaries to review their solid waste management actions within a month. The tribunal directed them to remain present with their reports on different dates, starting from March 1 at 2pm when Jammu & Kashmir chief secretary has been asked to appear. 

It noted that India generates over 1,500,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day, with Mumbai being the world's fifth most waste generating city.

Source: Business Standard - https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/ngt-asks-chief-secretaries-to-appear-before-it-with-action-taken-reports-on-solid-waste-management-119012400884_1.html

Can Solar Diplomacy Green The Belt And Road?
24 Jan, 2019

China has pledged to fill the global infrastructure development gap with more than US$4 trillion in “sustainable” projects through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). But China is not delivering on its promises of green and low carbon infrastructure so the initiative is facing a crisis of legitimacy.

According to a recent report from the World Resources Institute, about 75% of the US$145 billion in loans from China’s major financing institutions went to fossil fuel energy projects, including US$10 billion for coal plants. The report also outlined how almost all investments in the construction of fossil-fuel power were state-owned enterprises. In contrast, private Chinese companies, which have much smaller investment footprints, have focused on solar and wind.

Source: China Dialogue - https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11037-Can-solar-diplomacy-green-the-Belt-and-Road-

UNESCO Names Rio As World Capital of Architecture For 2020
19 Jan, 2019

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Friday announced that the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro will be the World Capital of Architecture for 2020.

Having defeated Paris and Melbourne, Rio will be the first city to receive the title under a program launched together by UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA) in November 2018. The city will host the World Congress of UIA, an event that occurs every three years, in July 2020.

Source: Xinhuanet - http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-01/19/c_137756961.htm

Why The World Should Be Watching India's Fast-Growing Cities
18 Jan, 2019

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) predicts that future increases in the world’s urban population will be concentrated in just a few countries. India, China and Nigeria are together expected to account for 35% of the projected growth in the world’s urban population until 2050; of these three, the absolute growth in urban population is projected to be the highest in India. In terms of sheer numbers, the largest urban transformation of the 21st century is thus happening in India, and the Indian real estate and infrastructure industry is a key contributor to this growth.

Source: World Economic Forum - https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/india-urbanization-why-the-world-should-watch/

The Case For A Holistic Water Management Approach In Myanmar
17 Jan, 2019

Myanmar is a rainy country, endowed with a wealth of rivers, streams and bodies of water. And while average annual rainfall in the Dry Zone is less than 1,000 millimeters, coastal regions can receive over 5,000 millimeters of rain over the same period. In other words, Myanmar on the whole is blessed with rich resources of freshwater, with a vast majority of this water flowing into four major rivers, the Chindwin, Ayeyarwady, Sittang and Salween and their associated tributaries.  

Nevertheless, many places in the middle of Myanmar, much of which is classified as a Dry Zone, routinely face a scarcity of water in the summer. But why, given the country’s vast freshwater resources, does this problem of a scarcity of freshwater persist? As such, if Myanmar is to realize its true economic potential, let alone social cohesiveness, it is important to understand why this is happening and to address the root causes.

Source: Mizzima News - http://mizzima.com/article/case-holistic-water-management-approach-myanmar

MSC’s Technology To Transport Fruit To China
17 Jan, 2019

The ocean carrier MSC launches a new technology for long distance shipping of fruit. The first to test the technology is the gold kiwi, sweeter than the green one, and whose demand is growing especially in China. 

The gold kiwi shipments are made under cold treatment to keep the fruit fresh and prevent transference of unwanted pests. MSC’s experienced technicians ensure the conditions are correct and that the cold chain is controlled 24/7 until delivery to the customer.

Source: The Medi Telegraph - http://www.themeditelegraph.com/en/shipping/2019/01/17/msc-technology-transport-fruit-china-0Z1cx4NKoi8TdG7F6MvmvM/index.html

How To Improve Communication Between People And Smart Buildings
10 Jan, 2019

When it comes to buildings and their occupants, USC researchers see a failure to communicate, yet improved dialogue between the two can help smart buildings work better for a sustainable society. 

In a new study, researchers found that subtle changes in design of virtual assistants results in behavioural changes that can help the environment. The researchers found people connect better with a computer-generated avatar that represents building management. They found that social banter between machine and people gets better results. The findings underscore how personal connections and social interactions key to human relations also foster cooperation between people and machines.

Source: PHYS - https://phys.org/news/2019-01-people-smart.html#jCp

Liuzhou City Promotes Traffic Capacity for Rural Vitalization
06 Jan, 2019

Recently, it is learned from the Work Promotion Teleconference of the Three-year Action Plan for Improving Transportation Infrastructure Capacity in Rural Areas of Liuzhou held by the Liuzhou Municipal People's Government that at present, the expressway projects in Liuzhou City, the second (or third) level highway projects in every village and the road hardening projects in more than 20 natural villages are progressing smoothly. Through the "Three-year Action Plan", the longitudinal and latitudinal lines of the traffic network were made for improving transportation infrastructure in rural areas.

It is reported that from January to October this year, Liuzhou completed a total investment of 2.66 billion yuan in expressway projects, accounting for 84.8% of the annual task. At present, the expressway mileage in Liuzhou is 495 kilometers, and the expressway mileage in Liuzhou will reach 700 kilometers after the completion of the "Three-year Action Plan" project.

Sources: http://english.liuzhou.gov.cn/news/news1/201812/t20181204_1215629.htm

Promote the Integration of Rural Toilet Reform and Domestic Sewage Treatment
01 Jan, 2019

Recently, the Office of the Joint Conference of Rural Toilet Renovation in Shandong Province issued the Pilot Work Plan for Creating and Improvement of Rural Harmless Sanitary Toilets in the Eastern, Central and Western Province (2018-2020). As a pilot area in the east China, Weihai is urgently needed to promote integrating both works of rural toilet reform and domestic sewage treatment, and explore an upgraded version of toilet revolution.

How to renovate and upgrade rural toilets? The Plan clarifies the ways to effectively carry out both the toilet reform and rural domestic sewage treatment. For the villages that have not reformed their toilets, they in principle may adopt the modes the modes of single family, multi families or whole village to include their sewage into a pipe network, so to collectively treat the toilet sewage and kitchen sewage and all other domestic sewage such as bathing and soaking waste water, and thus realizing the treatment and control at the pollution source end and in just one step. For the single-family treatment mode, it takes a household as a unit, to install a small single-family processing facility that is used to collect all the domestic sewages such as toilet sewage, kitchen sewage, bath water, and laundry waste water. For the relatively centralized processing mode, it takes multi-family or whole village as a unit, to construct domestic sewage treatment facilities that are used for centralized collection and treatment of domestic sewages. For the tube management mode, it is deployed for households that are in a village close to a town. Each household will set up a sedimentation tank, and each village will lay down a pipe network through which the domestic sewage will be sent and included in the town sewage treatment plant for centralized treatment. It also encouraged qualified villages to use the ways of artificial wetland or oxidation ponds for ecological treatment.

According to the Plan, in principle the pilot city will select 1-2 counties (cities, districts) to carry out pilot projects. Other cities and counties should also carry out the pilot project at different levels such as counties, towns, and villages, based on local actual conditions. The pilot will be fully launched by the end of the year. In 2020, the successful experience of the pilot will be gradually promoted throughout the province.

Source: http://www.weihai.gov.cn/art/2018/12/4/art_16952_1490828.html

Xixian Provides the World with a New Template for Innovative Urban Development
26 Dec, 2018

The first "International Forum on Future Cities Planning Construction and Governance", a sub-forum under the Xixian New Area International Forum on Models of Innovative Urban Development, kicked off on October 13 in the central Chinese city of Xi'an. Shi Nan, Vice President and Secretary General of the Urban Planning Society of China, was invited to attend and address the forum.

Shi Nan said in an interview with CRI Online Shaanxi that the Xi'an municipal Party committee and municipal government have always considered urban planning a top priority and implemented sound and carefully deliberated plans since the very beginning of the founding of the People's Republic. Particular emphasis has been placed on the improvement and balancing of different public resources towards industry development, residential space, education, other public services and the multitude of needs of local residents.

In addition, as a historic city that has kept its traditions alive while being modernized, Xi'an has always leveraged its rich cultural assets as a driver and crucial ingredient of urban development. In the past two years, Xi 'an has also attached great importance to environmental and ecological protection. The city has outperformed its peers nationwide in the field of urban development planning.

Source: http://en.xixianxinqu.gov.cn/2018-10/16/c_291711.htm

Liuzhou Promotes City-Industry Integration to Create New Development Model
25 Dec, 2018

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, Liuzhou has accelerated the pace of new-type urbanization construction, and has taken a road of new-type urbanization construction with local characteristics -- city-industry integration.

In particular, Liuzhou City constantly strengthens the infrastructure construction of the parks, and allocates special funds to support the infrastructure construction of the parks every year. By the end of October 2018, the industrial output value of the parks in the whole city was 217.24 billion yuan, and the total economic output of the parks accounted for 54.4% of that in the city. Liudong New District became the first development zone with the output value exceeding 100 billion yuan in Guangxi, and Hexi Industrial Park became the eighth autonomous-regional-level high-tech industrial development zone in Guangxi. The parks consisted of industries, and then led to the rise of new urban areas, brought about the upgrading of various kinds of infrastructure, promoted the integration of urban comprehensive service functions for the development of industry, and formed a good mechanism of promoting the city by the industry.

Sources: http://english.liuzhou.gov.cn/news/news1/201812/t20181220_1226081.htm

Hefei Mission of Rural Sewage Treatment 
25 Dec, 2018

On the morning of December 25, Mr. Yu Xinrong, deputy secretary of the Party Group and Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of People’s Republic of Chinas, came to Hefei, Anhui Province to survey and research the way of rural domestic sewage treatment and presided over a symposium. Vice Governor of the Province Zhang Shuguang accompanied. Mr. Li Weiguo, Director of the Rural Social Undertakings Promotion Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Mr. NingQiwen, Deputy Director of the General Office of the Ministry, and Mr. Chen Yongqing, Deputy Director of the Department of Soil Ecology and Environment of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, participated in the survey. Mr. Liu Weidong, deputy secretary general of the provincial government, Mr. Lu Shiren, director of the Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Mr. Yang Zengquan, deputy director of the department, Mr. Song Zhigang, Member of the Party Group of the Provincial Department of Housing and Construction and chief engineer, and Mr. Wang Minsheng, deputy mayor, attended.  

Mr. Yu Xinrong and his entourage went to the Fangfang Center Village, Huangpi Town, Chaohu City for a field study. The village, located in the north bank of Chaohu Lake, is a demonstration village for the construction of beautiful villages in Anhui Province in 2017. During the construction process, the village has newly laid down 9300 meters of rainwater pipe network, 243 sanitary toilets, 2 new public toilets, and a new sewage treatment station that can treat 50-ton sewage each day, making the domestic sewage treatment rate reach 95%. Mr. Yu also went to the sewage treatment station of the Fangfang Central Village and some of the villagers’ homes to learn more about their sewage treatment measures and achievements, and gave his high recognition.

Sources: http://www.hefei.gov.cn/xwzxdt/hfyw/201812/t20181226_2695715.html

Luoyang City Agreed the Acceptance of the Pilot Project of National Water Ecological Civilization City 
25 Dec, 2018

In recent years, by taking the ride of national creation of the first pilot cities of water ecological civilization in the country, Luoyang City has integrated its construction of water ecological civilization to its “9+2” work plan and to its “four-river and three-channel simultaneous improvement”, urban parks construction, sponge city construction, and  ancient capital civilization. In creating a civilized ecosystem, it established and improved the financing mechanism in which government plays a guidance role, locality plays as major players, market plays as transaction basis and the public actively participate in. The Xingluohu Park and the Demonstration Section within the Luohe water system comprehensive remediation program, etc. have been completed and put into use, and 83 projects including sewage interception and pollution control, water system connectivity, river/channel improvement, landscape enhancement and wetland protection have also been completed, forming a new pattern of “beautiful and regulated water system and ecological Luoyang”. The Acceptance Committee believes that with realization of “clear water, green shores, smooth roads and public benefits” as the overall goal and with the “four-river and three-channel simultaneous improvement” as the priority focus, Luoyang City has shown off its advanced concepts and reasonable layout, and achieved solid and remarkable and outstanding results. The acceptance committee unanimously agreed to accept the pilot project of Luoyang Water Ecological Civilization City.  

Source: http://www.ly.gov.cn/lyzx/jrly/877850.shtml

Promote the New Pattern of Pan-Territory Tourism With Ecological Environment Protection As The Fundamental Precondition  
25 Dec, 2018

In 2018 by enthusiastically responding to the call of the central, provincial and Zhuzhou city governments on pan-territory tourism and thoroughly implementing the relevant arrangements of the municipal party committee and the municipal people's government, the Environmental Protection Bureau of Liling City took close following-up of the requirement of “improving the quality of the ecological environment” as its main priority. It carried out the environmental impact assessment, enforced environmental supervision and pollution governance, vigorously promoted the construction of ecological civilization, comprehensively fought the battle against pollution, and laid a solid environmental foundation for promoting the development of pan-territory tourism.

It comprehensively put efforts and made breakthroughs to promote the development of pan-territory tourism.

(1) Accelerate industrial transformation and upgrading. It accelerated the pace for closure and elimination of “non-conformity, polluting and land-law-violating” enterprises; and promoted to construct a papermaker-clustering area for which it determined the Tiehekou of Chashan Town as the destination site. In addition, it wrote a “feasibility study report on the project of constructing a clustering area for the ceramic and firework industries in Liling City”, and strove to relocate paper enterprises into the paper maker clustering area as soon as possible.

(2) Enforce the pollution prevention and control. Always adhering to the idealism and working attitude of “good environment is the people’s wellbeing, green mountains are enjoyable beauties, and blue sky is also a happy thing”, it comprehensively promotes the prevention and control of atmospheric, water and soil pollution, continuously reduces the existing pollutions, and promotes to improve ecological environment quality, striving to write a new chapter in the green development of Liling. 

(3) Shed green light to the unimpeded tourism projects in terms of project EIA. It vigorously supports for creating conditions for the planned construction of tourism projects, and carry out the service spirit to earnestly provide services throughout the whole process of project construction. First, it implemented the project preview mechanism that is to make itself get ready to provide advance services; second, enhanced the guidance and coordination roles for the projects, and implemented tracking services; third, optimized the project approval mechanism, including implementation of “All-in-one notification”, “one-stop service”, and the standardized window-type management of “One-stop Approval”; and the fourth is to shorten the time limit and procedures for EIA review and approval to maximize early approval and early construction of the projects in the city.

(4) Fully cooperate with the model-creation mission. It conscientiously implemented the requirements for better environment creation assigned by the municipal party committee and the municipal people’s government, and formed an execution pattern where the top leader takes the leading role, deputies take the charge of specific implementations, task forces organize to implement, departments coordinate, and all walks of people broadly participate in, so that to implement the mission of creation of a national sanitary city, a national garden city, and a provincial model city.

Source: http://www.zhuzhou.gov.cn/articles/1889/2018-12/210127.html

Qingdao Explores A New Model Of “Smart Water Management” To Construct the Project Digital Dagu River That Has Been Completed And Put Into Operation
25 Dec, 2018

It was learned from the Municipal Water Conservancy Bureau that the Dagu River Digitalization, which is the project to enable digitalized management of the Dagu River Comprehensive Treatment, was recently completed and put into operation. The project collects various regulatory data, monitoring data and monitoring video, and relies on big data technology to realize digitalization of objects in the watershed management, visualization of management processes, and scientifically making decisions of management. It provides strong support for river managers at every level to “Manage the river well, manage the people well, and manage issues well” to realize the post-construction objectives that are “unobstructed flooding, sounding dyke, clear water, green shore, and beautiful scenery”, and it explores a new mode of Internet-based water management in the new era.

It is reported that the project has built new, and upgraded the existing, water and rain information collection equipment, and improved the hydrological intelligence network. It built 79 rainfall observation stations, and connected 164 ground and underground water-level automatic monitoring stations along the river course of 170+ kilometers, to realized the real-time forecast and measurement of rainfall and water level at the main streams and at the main water conservancy projects. It has newly put into use 92 water measurement devices for the main streams of the Dagu River, and connected to the 4 water measurement devices at the reservoirs of Chanzhi, Yinfu, Beishu and Huangtong, and built 15 automatic water quality monitoring stations, to realize real-time monitoring of the water and soil conservation and the environment in the whole river basin. It has newly set up 214, and connected to 129, video surveillance facilities to collect real-time video information of the Dagu River’s main stream dikes, river dams, main tributary estuaries, traffic bridges, large and medium-sized reservoirs, hydrological stations and management facilities in the basin. It observes 24 hours a day the backbone water conservancy projects and management facilities, and it becomes the “telescope” for the river’s daily management.

Source: http://www.qingdao.gov.cn/n172/n1530/n32936/181225085449166530.html

Hefei Metropolitan Area Will Densify Its Road Network
24 Dec, 2018

The bidding for the project of constructing the section of the Xuancheng-Shangcheng Expressway that starts from Hefei to Jinzhai to Henan’s Shangcheng has started, which means that the blueprint of the feasibility study report is about to start drawing. As an important linkage-line within the province’s highway network planning, it will become an east-west important highway connecting Lu’an, Hefei and the Central Plains area of China.

The Xuancheng-Shangcheng Expressway is one of the important linkage lines in the provincial expressway network planning of “five verticals and nine horizontals”. It starts from Xuancheng City, through Nanling, Tongling, Wuwei, Lujiang, Shucheng, Huoshan and Jinzhai, and finally Shangcheng of Henan. It is of great significance for promoting the coordinated development of the east and west of the Hefei Metropolitan areas, and promoting the industrial structure transfer of the Hefei Economic Circle. It is a key east-west high-speed passage in Anhui Province.

The bidding section starts from the section of Fangxing Avenue to the Mayan of the G3 Jingtai Expressway, to connect the Wuwei-Hefei section, and go westward through Shucheng County, Huoshan County and Jinzhai County, to reach the junction of the Anhui province and Henan Province, and then to the Henan section of the S32 Xuancheng-Shangcheng Expressway. The route comes crossing the Hefei-Jiujiang Railway, Hefei-Anqing Passenger Dedicated, Shanghai-Hankou-Chengdu High-speed Railway, and crossing such rivers as the Fengle River, Hangbei Main Canal and Weihe River. It is about 180 kilometers in length and is built according to the standard of two-way four-lane expressway.

The construction of Xuancheng-Shangcheng Expressway is conducive to alleviating the traffic pressure of the Hefei-Liu’an Expressway and the Wuhu River Crossing. After its operation, Anhui will have another expressway that extends directly to the hinterland of the Central Plains. It will enhance the function of the Hefei National Comprehensive Hub and enhance its influence to surrounding regions.

Sources: http://www.hefei.gov.cn/xwzxdt/csbb/201812/t20181226_2695742.html

Cooperation Framework Agreement to Jointly Promote the Construction of New Smart City In Zhuhai
24 Dec, 2018

On December 24, Zhuhai Municipal Government and Ping An Group signed a “Smart Zhuhai” Framework of Cooperation (FoC). The two parties will focus on the construction of a new smart city in Zhuhai, and carry out the cooperation in fields of urban governance, governance improvement, public services, optimization of talent structure, digital economy, industrial upgrading, etc. Mr. Yao Yusheng, Mayor and Deputy Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee, and Mr. XieYonglin, Co-CEO of Ping An Group and Chairman of Ping An Bank, witnessed the signing ceremony. Mr. Lu Xiaofeng, Deputy Mayor, and Mr. ZhuangXiaodong, Chairman of Ping An Group’s Urban Construction Technology Co., Ltd. signed the agreement on behalf of the two parties.

According to the agreement, by adhering to the principle of mutual benefit, common development and steady advancement, based on the overall planning of the smart city in Zhuhai and the overall framework of “four beams and eight pillars”, and by using Ping An Group’s professional advantages of “finance + technology + ecology” and  high-quality resources, the two parties will constantly explore new ways of innovative services in terms of political party building, government affairs, finance, urban construction, public safety, life convenience service, transportation, education, pension, medical care, environmental protection, ports and industrial promotion, to achieve “optimization of the government by scientific and technological excellence, enhancement of the economy through digitalization, and introduction of talents”, build Zhuhai into a China model of “digital governing benchmark, a model city in the Great Bay Area, an innovative development highland, and a smart city in the Greater Bay Area between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau”, and eventually a “world-class smart city”.

Ping An Group is one of the top-three financial consortiums in China. With the “smart, intelligent and knowledge” as its core concept and relying on its core technologies of artificial intelligence, intelligent cognition, block chain and cloud, Ping An Smart City has created a “1+N” smart-city platform system which focuses on Smart City Life, governance affairs and other service areas that are closely related to social life and industries.

Source: http://www.zhuhai.gov.cn/xw/xwzx_44483/zhyw/201812/t20181225_50533364.html

The World's Largest Single Passive Public Building Under Construction by the Zhu Zhou Mightier Group Is About to Open
24 Dec, 2018

Zhuzhou City Civic Center (also known as Entrepreneur Square) is a comprehensive citizen service center that integrates “convenience service”, “entrepreneurial service” and “leisure service”. The center has set up 7 comprehensive management areas such as “Real Estate Registration Area”, “People's Social Security Provident Zone”, “Public Service Comprehensive Area” and “Investment Approval Area”, so that the government service “only enters one door” and “runs at most once”. This project was contracted by Zhu Zhou Mightier group.

The project has a construction area of 62,334 square meters, an office part of 39,976 square meters, a commercial part of 7,000 square meters, a basement 1 commercial area, and a ground floor of 1-4 floors. Building Environment Central Park forms six scales of pleasant floating islands, which solves the needs of different functions such as office, social, shopping and leisure. The connection between entrepreneurial space and service platform can greatly improve the efficiency of work. The most important thing is that the project is completely built using passive energy-saving technology and is the world's largest single passive public building!

Passive construction, simply speaking, does not require active heating and air conditioning, but uses the insulation of the ground, walls, doors and windows, fresh air system, and renewable energy such as solar energy and geothermal energy to achieve constant temperature and humidity throughout the four seasons. Constant oxygen, constant net and constant static buildings. This is a true green building and a future building.

Source: http://www.zznews.gov.cn/news/2018/1217/303592.shtml

Qingdao Launched Its First Operation Method of Energy Conservation for Pure Electric Bus That Will Save Millions of Kwhs
24 Dec, 2018

With Qingdao’s constant updating of its public transport vehicles, the number of pure electric buses the island city owns is increasing. Compared with fuel vehicles, there are certain unique operational skills that can be deployed for better use of pure electric vehicles. “In order to save energy, we must first ensure the vehicle and every part of it to be in the best condition at all times and that is the basis for energy saving,” said Mr. Wang Qun, a bus driver, who pays great importance to tire maintenance, engine room dust removal and air pump dust removal. He elaborated: “In operation, we must pay attention to road condition and traffic controls. For example, 3 traffic signal lights at the Xianxialing Road, East Yinchuan Road and Tong’an Road are synchronized at same intervals, 30 seconds apart. After the green light at Xianxialing Road intersection turns on, we should drive through the intersection of the East Yinchuan Road with constant speed and reach at a stop of the East Yinchuan Road. And then, we drive through the East Yinchuan Road with constant speed and enter the Tongan Road Stop where at this point of time, the intersection ahead would show a red light. After getting on and off of the passengers, we may get the right time to pass the intersection. By this way, we can optimally save lots of energy.” Wang Qun is a bus driver along the 501st route. After years of exploration and repeated tests, he found that the motor rev designed for the vehicle is 1000 rpm to 2000 rpm. And according to the bus operation, if the rev is between 1300 rpm and 1800 rpm and the speed is between 30km/h to 40km/h, it is the most economic. 

According to statistics, Mr. Wang uses a special operation method to run 2,600 kilometers per month that can save 900 KWHs and annually save about 10,800 KWHs. Wang Qun has been recognized as one of the most economical drivers of Qingdao pure electric buses.

“The 501st route is with 41.7 kilometers and it passes through 64 stops, 12 primary and secondary schools and kindergartens, 6 hospitals, 2 business districts, and 97 intersections of which 37 have no signal lights, as well as 142 zebra crossings. Of the 64 stops, 19 are connected to the subways Line 2 and Line 3.” Because of his well knowledge of the road conditions, he used the unique ability of electric vehicles to recover electricity by reducing the vehicle speed in advance on the downhill section and using the method of “continuous speed reduction” and “segment speed reduction” to extend the braking time and braking distance, so to maximally recover power energy.

Sources: http://news.qingdaonews.com/qingdao/2018-12/24/content_20263787.htm

The 8th Exhibition of New Product and New Technology of Energy Saving and Emission Reduction Was Held in Guilin - New Energy Vehicles Are Highly Sought After by the Public
20 Dec, 2018

The 8th Exhibition of New Product and New Technology of Energy Saving and Emission Reduction in 2018 (New Energy Vehicle) and the 3rd Green Low-Carbon Industry Expo opened at the Guilin International Convention and Exhibition Center. The concept of low-carbon life and green travel has affected people’s behavior of car buying. New energy vehicles have attracted public attention at the exhibition.

The theme of this exhibition is “Energy Saving and Protecting Blue Sky”. The three-day exhibition has showcased new energy vehicles and new products and technologies for energy saving and emission reduction. There are four exhibition areas, namely, the new energy vehicle exhibition area, the energy-saving low-carbon exhibition area, the green building exhibition area and the green agriculture exhibition area.

In the next step, Guilin will take the ride of this activity to effectively promote green development, advocate a simple, green and low-carbon lifestyle, and carry out actions such as creating conservation-oriented governmental institutions, green families, green schools and green communities and facilitating green travel. It will formulate action plans, to enhance the role of energy conservation and resource conservation in accelerating the reform of ecological civilization system, building beautiful Guangxi and Guilin, showing Guilin afresh new face to the outside world and achieving results of the new actions. It will rationally adjust industrial structure, intensify elimination of backward production capacity, and continue to accelerate upgrading and transformation of the tradition industries, vigorously develop strategic emerging industries, accelerate the development of low-carbon service industries; stably promote energy conservation and consumption reduction, and develop low-carbon urban areas, low-carbon parks and low-carbon communities.

Source: http://www.guilin.gov.cn/zwxx/201811/t20181126_1037068.htm

Power Generation Started at the Shankou Domestic Waste Incineration Power Generation Project in Guilin City - Realizing the Treatment of Domestic Wastes in a Manner of “Garbage Great Reduction, Utilization and Harmlessness”
20 Dec, 2018

On the morning of December 20th, the Guilin City’s Shankou Domestic Waste Incineration Power Generation Project was officially ignited after three years of construction. The project will not only undertake the task of harmless treatment of domestic garbage in the city, but also produce green energy for daily life use of the citizens, which marks the realization of treatment of domestic garbage in the manner of “garbage great reduction, utilization and harmlessness” in the city.

Shankou Project is located in Shankou Village, Lingui Town, Lingui District. It covers an area of about 147 mu and is invested and operated by Shenzhen Energy Environmental Protection Co., Ltd., with a chartered period of 30 years. The first phase of the project will design and build 2 sets of mechanical grate furnaces with a daily processing capacity of 750 tons. The furnaces are working with the medium-temperature medium-pressure waste heat boiler system, one 35MW (MW) steam turbine generator set, flue/gas purification system, slag collection and storage system, and fly ash collection and stabilization system, sewage treatment system, circulating cooling system, and other equipment. It uses the process of “waste full-burning + fly ash stabilization + residual landfill”, and uses the waste heat from waste incineration to generate electricity. The project has been implemented since December 2015. After more than three years of hard work, it has built a modern domestic waste incineration and power generation plant that is superior to the national standard and even the EU environmental protection technology standards.

According to the relevant person in charge of the project, after the project is put into production, it can annually treat 547,500 tons of domestic garbage, generate 210 million kWh which can be used by the project itself, or sold 180 million kWh to the grid. Equivalently, it can annually save 66,000 tons of standard coal and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 220,000 tons. At the same time, it can also reduce waster weight by about 80%, or in other words, reduce waste volume by more than 90%, effectively alleviating the problem of garbage disposal in the built-up area of the city and saving land resources. With the first phase of the project being put into operation, the second phase of the project is about to start that will expand the scope to achieve solid waste incineration full coverage, and fundamentally solve the problem of urban and rural domestic garbage pollution.

Sources: http://www.guilin.gov.cn/zwxx/201812/t20181224_1068955.htm

Changzhou Ranks 29th In the 2018 China's Top 100 Cities
20 Dec, 2018

Recently, the Wharton Economic Institute released the list of 2018 China’s Top 100 Cities. Changzhou ranked 29th with a comprehensive score of 53.30. Its total score of economic indicators is 49.45, ranking 22nd; and the soft economic indicators totaled 59.54, ranking 41st.

The top 100 cities are rated by their GDPs and selected according to the comprehensive scores of economic indicators (61.8%) and soft economic indicators (38.2%). The economic indicators include GDP and household savings, while soft economic indicators include the environment, science, education, culture and health.

The Warton Economic Institute (WEI), formerly known as the Shanghai Institute of Economic Development, which was established in 1988, is the first in China to provide a comprehensive, integrated approach to macroeconomic, regional economy and enterprise development. Sexual research advisory body, is the famous economic think tank. Over the past two decades, the Institute has planned and contributed to a series of major projects related to national strategy, regional development and business growth, and made outstanding contributions to promoting China's economic reform and development.

Sources: http://www.changzhou.gov.cn/ns_news/587153302650192

Lovers Avenue Enhancement Is Taken Nearby Yeli Island
20 Dec, 2018

Renewal and broadening of the 1.2-km (nearly a mile) Lovers Avenue greenbelt from Haixia Rest Station to Yeli Island's Xinyue (New Moon) Bridge has been completed, according to XiangzhouZhengfang Holdings.

Brought into balance and harmony with the seaside and Zhuhai Opera House is a 24,800-sq-m (six-acre) park in Wanzaisha of Old Xiangzhou. Seedlings have planted, signs posted, damaged trees and their bamboo supports removed, puddles drained, shrubs and hedges replaced, and withered trees trimmed or taken out.

The extended promenade features turtle shell-shaped terrain, a curving balustrade atop a new plank road, lamp-lit bikeway, and new automatic irrigation systems. The gentle gradient enables a wider horizon and uses space more efficiently, making the greenbelt an intimate part of coastal scenery. New vegetation and nine kinds of in-season flowers further adorn the route. Restoration of the 1.3-km section from the Xinyue Bridge to Gangkou Road (Xiangzhou Port) has now commenced.

Source: http://www.cityofzhuhai.com/2018-12/26/c_310510.htm

Promote the City’s Internationalization Strategy to Create A New “Highland” For Opening Up
13 Dec, 2018

On the morning of December 13 Weihai City’s private entrepreneurs’ seminar of “Making Achievements in the New Era” was organized and was centered on the topic of economic transformation. Ms. Yang Li, deputy mayor, presided over the seminar and made a report on the opening-up of the city.

Yang pointed out in the report that Weihai is one of the first coastal open citys in China and is also the closest city from China to South Korea. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Weihai has actively participated in the China-South Korea Free Trade Area negotiations and strived to create a pilot city for innovation and development of the country’s service trade. The city’s openness to the outside world has been continuously expanded and the level of opening up has been significantly improved. Entering the new era, Weihai is moving from an opening-up city to an international city. To promote the city’s internationalization strategy, Weihai has established the Mayor’s International Economic Advisory Committee, and drafted an implementation plan for the city’s internationalization strategy, to integrate its international visions, ideas and standards into the city’s various tasks. In the next step, Weihai will be more proactive in implementing a comprehensive opening-up strategy, attracting domestic and foreign capitals and technologies, and making more efficient use of the home and SK markets and their resources. It will be based on the opening up to promote reform and innovation, promote structural adjustment, expand development space, and comprehensively build new advantages in the opening up by seeking first-comer’s advantage in building the new “highland” in opening up to the outside world.

Sources: http://www.weihai.gov.cn/art/2018/12/14/art_16952_1497602.html

Hamburg Among World's Most Sustainable Cities
11 Dec, 2018

Hamburg ranks 17th on the Sustainable Cities Index 2018 compiled by Arcadis, a global planning and consulting firm. Good networking and effective CO2 reduction measures won over the experts. Arcadis had compared the urban plans of 100 cities to achieve sustainable growth and their success. Last year, Hamburg ranked 20th on the index.

Hamburg seventh in the sub index “planet”

Hamburg performed particularly well in the “planet” category, which includes sub-items such as energy consumption, CO2 reduction and the promotion of clean mobility. A compliance rate of 74 per cent was achieved. The Hanseatic League had won over experts with good waste and water management as well as promoting renewable energies. Hamburg scored above average in terms of measures to reduce greenhouse gases and achieve clean, unpolluted air.

Source: Hamburg News

Luoyang Municipal Urban and Rural Planning Committee Held the Twelfth Meeting in 2018
27 Nov, 2018

On November 27th, the Urban and Rural Planning Committee of Luoyang City held the 12th meeting in 2018, where it essentially adopted the “Special Planning of Ventilation Corridor in Luoyang City”, “Special Plan of Luoyang City for Implementation of the Car Parking Lot”, “Guidelines for Designing Green Space in Luoyang City” and “Guidelines for Placement of Outdoor Advertising Plaque in Luoyang City” etc. Mr. Liu Yangkang, mayor of Luoyang and director of the Municipal Planning Commission, presided over the meeting. Mr. Wang Yanjun, deputy director of the Municipal Planning Committee and other members of the Municipal Planning Commission, attended the meeting.

According to the plans, Luoyang will create a comprehensive urban ventilation corridor system to be deployed in “corridors, potential points, areas, Mt. passes and places with wind farm potentials” by opening the suburban air intakes, introducing natural winds on multiple sides, establishing a cold air generating area, establishing microcirculation in the city, and improving micro environment in the city downtown, so to effectively alleviate phenomenon of urban “heat islands”, regulate microclimate, improve ecological environment, and improve urban functions.

According to the special implementation plan of Luoyang City Parking Lots, 21 parking lots will be built based on carefully studying the city’s parking lot layout, city planning and downtown land use, and by using 3 modes i.e. three-dimensional parking garage, temporary ground parking lot and “underground parking + ground comprehensive development”. After completing the project, it can provide 6973 parking spots available for car parking. Among 21 parking lots, 18 will be available by the end of this year. They focus on solving the parking difficulties in the main business districts, schools, hospitals, government offices and scenic spots and other traffic-intensive areas in the central city, aiming to effectively help maintain the traffic order.

Source: http://www.ly.gov.cn/lyzx/jrly/875414.shtml

DPD To Convert to Electric Vehicles By 2019
27 Nov, 2018

International parcel and express delivery service DPD aims to convert all its parcel deliveries in Hamburg’s inner city to electrically powered vehicles by summer 2019. This comprises zero-emission and local deliveries in Altstadt, Neustadt, HafenCity, St. Georg and Hammerbrook, as well as in the Steinwerder and Kleiner Grasbrook districts. DPD is relying on a mix of compact vehicles, including delivery bikes and e-scooters, as well as larger vehicles such as fully electric transporters and trucks. The purchase of these vehicles will be subsidized in part in terms of the Zukunft.de model project under Hamburg’s leadership. Plans are being laid for several micro depots in the urban delivery to distribute the parcels with smaller electric vehicles.

Source: Hamburg News

How Can We Adapt Our Cities to Cope With Climate Change?
22 Nov, 2018

In the run up to the UN’s international climate change conference, 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (informally called “COP24”), the GIZ Sino-German Urbanisation Project (SGUP) deems it wise to ask how our cities can fortify themselves against the devastating effects of this phenomenon. According to the UN, 54.5% of the world’s population was already residing in urban areas by 2016 – a point which further stresses why we need to urgently prepare our cities to cope with climate change. Although an average global temperature increase of 3 degrees Celsius may not seem like a lot, this could actually lead to disastrous consequences: drought, flooding and intolerable heatwaves which risks health implications. China’s concerns about climate change are well-founded: The Guardian claims 4 out of 5 people living in Asia will be impacted by climate change, while underlining Shanghai as the “most vulnerable major city in the world to serious flooding”. The same article states this major Chinese city may even become almost completely submerged by water, displacing as much as 17.5 million Shanghaiists.

Hence, in a bid to find relevant solutions, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zuammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Asian Development Bank (ABD) together with the China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MoEE) and Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) co-hosted the “International Workshop on Planning Climate Adaptive Cities”.

The workshop took place on November 22nd in Xixian New District, Shaanxi Province. First results of two pilot projects on urban climate adaptation supported by GIZ’s Sino-German Urbanization Partnership (SGUP) in Lishui City of Zhejiang Province and Xixian New District of Xi'an City of Shaanxi Province were presented during the workshop. The workshop was moderated by Tong Guichan, Director of the International Science & Technology Cooperation Sector of MoHURD. Sun Zhen, Deputy Director of the Climate Department of MoEE, Guo Lichao, Deputy Director General of the Building Energy Efficiency and Science and Technology Department of MoHURD, and Achim Deuchert, Director of the investment project Financial & Sustainable Infrastructure of GIZ attended the conference and gave an opening speech.

The 100 workshop participants exchanged views on policy challenges and solutions on climate adaption. Expert presentations also highlighted best practices. For example, Dr. Tian Yongying from MoHURD’s Center for Science & Technology and Industrialization Development, spoke about the “Guidelines for the Construction of Climate-Adapted Cities”. These guidelines aim to incorporate a perspective of urban climate adaption urban within the China’s urbanisation policy. Dr. Tian explained how the scheme worked by pointing out its overarching goals, sub goals, key tasks and implementation paths. Although these guidelines remain under review, they are expected to be adopted soon to boost China’s climate-adapted urban development. (Source: Center for Science & Technology and Industrialization Development, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development).

Furthermore, interesting findings from the Xixian pilot project were also underlined at the workshop. It was presented that during summer, the pilot area of Fengxi New City in Xixian New District has average low wind speed but also high temperatures, creating a “heat island effect”. This triggers harmful consequences: increased usage of air conditioners and a decline in air quality and other environmental issues. It was also noted that hardened underlying urban surfaces were particularly prone to high temperatures. According to further analysis of high temperature risk, the air temperature in Fengxi New City is significantly affected by that of the city’s surface. Hence, the presentation identified controlling the urban surface temperature as one key factor for reducing the risk of high temperatures in urban zones.

Hence, based on these findings of the Xixian pilot scheme, the following was recommended:

1. One should investigate and quantify how different urban functions and spatial forms interact with factors like temperature, humidity and wind speed. Hence, it is important to collect spatial data related to high temperatures across urban centres (i.e. to create a heat map). This information could support development of suitable measures for the design of public places.

2. There is room for improvement in regard to the content of the “Action Plan of Adaption to Climate Change in Fengxi New City of Xixian New District”. More attention should be given to controlling urban surface temperature, reducing the risk of high temperatures, boosting urban information management and establishing an early-warning system that can forecast high temperatures.

3. More specific measures and goals are needed for green building, prefabricated buildings and ultra-low energy buildings.

4. Social fund-raising and green financing to be further developed, while more research is needed in designing a multi-level risk assessment mechanism.

Overcoming the harmful effects of climate change upon cities is a key reason why Germany’s International Climate Initiative (IKI) funded the SGUP. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports the SGUP based on a decision adopted by the German Federal government.

2018 Changzhou-Hong Kong Innovation and Cooperation Matchmaking
20 Nov, 2018

On the afternoon of November 20, the 2018 Changzhou·Hong Kong Innovation and Cooperation Matchmaking Conference was held in Hong Kong. Yang Wenming, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government (CPGLO) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Li Hua, Director of the Press and Public Relations Department of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in HKSAR, and nearly 100 representatives from Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Hong Kong's well-known enterprises as well as financial, technology, and innovation institutions attended the event.

As of October this year, a total of 2,448 Hong Kong enterprises have invested in Changzhou, and the paid-up capital reached 19.535 billion US dollars, accounting for half of the materialized foreign capital in Changzhou. At present, Changzhou enterprises have invested in 141 projects in Hong Kong, with a cumulative investment of 2.46 billion US dollars.

Sources: http://www.changzhou.gov.cn/ns_news/919154399247684

Sustainable Floating Neighbourhood Nears Completion
20 Nov, 2018

The most sustainable floating residential neighbourhood in Europe will soon be ready for the residents to move in. After years of dreaming, research, design and construction, the Schoonschip project is starting to take shape. The water homes will float on the Johan van Hasseltkanaal, a waterway in Buiksloterham, Amsterdam Noord.

The homes are currently being constructed in different locations in the Netherlands. They will then be towed to the Johan van Hasseltkanaal. The neighbourhood will also have social activities, leisure facilities, and floating gardens.

Source: Gemeente Amsterdam

International Forum of Financing Sustainable Buildings
15 Nov, 2018

On November 15, 2018, the “International Forum of Financing Sustainable Buildings” took place in Chongqing. The event welcomed 150 attendees and was hosted by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. The GIZ Sino-German Urbanization Partnership (SGUP) was excited to co-organize the event. As an organisation which was initiated by the aims to foster collaboration between Chinese and German parties on sustainable urbanisation objectives, SGUP believes that effective solutions can only be found by involving all stakeholders in the discussion. This scheme is overseen by the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) of the People’s Republic of China

Background

In the last decade, the Chinese government has implemented multiple policies to promote sustainable buildings. Public financing particularly provides a major incentive for various actors to improve the potential of energy efficiency and green building. However, it is evident that subsidies alone cannot achieve China’s sustainable building initiative. Green financing channels and tools are also essential for attracting private investment to further fill the immense financial gaps. At the same time, green financing is becoming increasingly popular worldwide among both financial institutions and policymakers. Therefore, although the area of green financing has developed rapidly in China, the general building sector seems to have received far less attention than other sectors.

Important Ideas

Data developed by Shi Yichen, the Dean of International Institute of Green Finance, Central University of Finance and Economics, presents further insights into China’s green finance situation. According to Shi, as of June 2017, the green credit balance of 21 major banks in China reached RMB 8.2 trillion (approximately  EUR 1 trillion)  . This indicates a year-on-year increase of 12.9%, accounting for 10% of the budget of various loans. Industrial financial institutions have developed policies to support green credit and established 50 categories of green credit.  Shi offers a comprehensive explanation of green building investment and financing. According to him, the term should take into account a wide range of factors: impacts on social and economic resources, green technology and energy-saving of buildings and the potential benefits and risks of capital in investment and financing. He similarly states that ecological aspects of the building’s life cycle should be considered in financial accounting and decision-making. Similarly, economic behavior in the construction sector should also take a multi-disciplinary approach by recognizing environmental, social and economic issues in order to enhance the sector’s sustainable development.

The forum brought key players from China, Europe and international financial institutions together to discuss the challenges that green financing faces in supporting China's sustainable building development. These actors also highlighted opportunities for collaboration and potential solutions to the recognised challenges.

In his presentation, Professor Ding Yong of Chongqing University shed light on the relevant required technology as well as a cost-benefit analysis of energy-saving renovation of existing public buildings in Chongqing. According to his research, investment for renovating both school and office buildings in Chongqing remains low, but the investment recovery period is the highest when financial subsidies are not considered. It is believed that these two types of buildings do not attract high investment because of they are actively used for relatively brief periods. For example, school buildings are closed for vacation during the summer – a season when other buildings are at their peak of using air-conditioners. Therefore, school buildings save less energy through their air conditioning systems than other types of buildings each year, so the investment recovery period is longer than in other types of buildings. This indicates that school buildings have a large demand for financial subsidies. Nonetheless, after the renovation, the average energy consumption of each type of building decreased significantly, with a drop of roughly 24%.

 About SWITCH ASIA-II – Promoting Sustainable Building Mainstreaming in Western China

Overall Objectives:

  • To further sustainable building practices in less developed regions of western China;
  • To reduce climate and resource impacts of the building sector and to contribute to sustainable socio-economic growth in China.

Specific Objectives:

  • To foster sustainable building practices among Micro, Small and Medium Entreprises  (MSME)s in Chongqing City and Yunnan province and further promote these practices in western China over 2016 to 2019.

 The Challenge:

China’s unprecedented socio-economic growth has triggered a vast expansion of the country’s building sector. As a result, since 1990, the energy consumption of buildings has increased by 40%. Furthermore, China’s building sector accounts for almost 30% of the country’s final energy consumption. Hence, enhancing energy-saving practices in the building sector represents a critical way to fulfil China’s ambitions of developing a resource efficient and low carbon pathway. In fact, the Chinese government aims that 50% of the country’s new constructions will meet green building standards by 2020. At present, it is estimated that only 10% of new construction projects currently reach this standard. Out of these mentioned  10% of construction projects, a large majority (about 90%) are located in the more developed eastern part of China. In contrast, the expansion of sustainable buildings in western parts of the country, such as Chongqing and Yunnan Province, remains still in the early stages.

 The Project Consortium:

  • Environment and Energy (WI)
  • China Association of Building Energy Efficiency (CABEE)
  • Chongqing Association of Building Energy Efficiency (CQBEEA)
  • Yunnan Development Centre for Building Technology (YNBTDC)
  • Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture (BUCEA)
  • Yunnan Engineering Quality Supervision Management Centre (YNEQS)
  • Chongqing Economic Promotional Centre for Building Material Industry (CEPCBM)
  • Bank of Chongqing (BOC)

 Associated Partners

  • Ministry of Housing and Urban & Rural Development (MoHURD)
  • Yunnan Provincial Agency of Housing and Urban & Rural Development (YNHURD)
  • Chongqing Municipal Agency of Housing and Urban & Rural Development
  • (CQHURD)
  • Chongqing Banking Association (CQBA)
  • Yunnan Banking Association (YNBA)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
  • econet china I Germany Industry & Commerce Greater China
How to Design And Co-Create Greener Cities?
14 Nov, 2018

Cities consume more than half of the world’s energy and cause over 70% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. At this critical crossroads, it is essential to benefit from the creative and innovative power of cities in responding to these challenges and exploring the value of nature as a part of the solution in combatting climate change and its impacts.

The URBACT City Festival gave cities a unique chance to be in the limelight and exchange experiences. On the 13th of September 2018, Bologna (IT), Manchester (UK) and Stavanger (NO) presented their approaches to using the ground-breaking concept of nature-based solutions to respond to a range of challenges in their cities, and to meet national, as well as global sustainable development goals.

Source: Urbact

New "Mobility Circle" Event Thinking Mobility Ahead
13 Nov, 2018

The first Mobility Circle gets underway on November 14, 2018 in Hamburg’s Curio-Haus and comes against the backdrop of the Mobility 2040 study. Commissioned by the ADAC and implemented by the Zukunftsinstitut, the study speaks of “upheavals similar to those after the invention of the car 125 years ago”. 

Moreover, this Platform meant to promote exchange, inspiration and networking on future of mobility will include smart cities, electric and emission-free vehicles and shared services bringing together managers and specialists from the automotive industry, transport companies and start-ups as well as stakeholders from business, politics and society.

Source: Hamburg News

Increase in Parking Fees to Improve Quality of Life
07 Nov, 2018

Amsterdam is growing, flourishing and getting more and more crowded. Keeping the city liveable and accessible is a major challenge. Cars still place a huge burden on the available space. In its efforts to restrict traffic in the city centre, the City Council is proposing an increase in parking fees for visitors. Anyone who wants to park in Amsterdam will pay more for this service starting in April 2019.

Amsterdam City wants to encourage residents and visitors to change how they travel to and around the city. Many Amsterdammers choose not to use their cars or even make the conscious decision not to buy one. More and more visitors are starting to use the P+R (Park + Ride) facilities on the outskirts of the city.

Source: Gemeente Amsterdam

Dr. Karsten Sach Gives An Opening Speech At The World Cities Day Conference
06 Nov, 2018

In support of a sustainable urbanisation process, the Director-General for International and  European Policy, Climate Policy in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Dr. Karsten Sach, traveled to Xuzhou, China, for the World Cities Day Conference on the 31st of October. In his opening remarks, Dr. Sach stressed the prominent role cities can play in global sustainable and climate-friendly development as well in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 agenda. He also underlined the importance of collaboration between China and Germany for sustainable and integrated urban development within the framework of the Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership. 

The Third Working Group Meeting on Urbanisation
01 Nov, 2018

On the 1st of November, the third Working Group meeting on Urbanisation (WGU) between the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) took place in Xuzhou. At the meeting, the themes of the Sino-German Urbanisation Partnership (SGUP) for the next three years were identified. The selected four themes are plus energy buildings and districts, energy efficiency under the scope of sustainable urban renewal, climate adaptation in cities as well as transformative city. In addition, the attendees made progress on the planning for the first Sino-German Urban Forum in China on the 30th of November 2019. The forum will be attended by German and Chinese city representatives as well as stakeholders from the fields of politics, business and civil society from both countries with the aim of exchanging best practices of sustainable urbanisation.

Scientific and Technological Innovation Ushers Xixian New Area onto the Track of the New Economy
16 Oct, 2018

The Xixian New Area signed the Innovative Urban Development Economy Alliance Cooperation Agreement with the China Science Center of International Eurasian Academy of Sciences and two other organizations. According to the Agreement, the three premier think tanks will be tasked with providing intellectually rigorous and sound consultancy services for spurring the innovative and high-quality development of Xixian New Area.

In recent years, Xixian New Area has prioritized the fostering of a suitable environment for promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and the development of the new economy. Its constant and determined effort has given birth to the Western China Science & Technology Innovation Harbour Wisdom Uni-Town, Northwestern Polytechnical University UAV Industrial Base and other major technological and mass innovation platforms. 

Looking ahead, Xixian New Area is seeking to further improving its business environment and striving to transform the area into an exemplar of innovation and entrepreneurship, a leading cluster of new economy businesses and a benchmark for innovative urban development along the routes of the Belt and Road.

Sources: http://en.xixianxinqu.gov.cn/2018-10/16/c_282798.htm

Greenport Congress Will Head To Valencia In 2018
05 Oct, 2018

Valenciaport has been chosen to host the next annual European GreenPort Cruise & Congress conference in October 2018.

The Port Authority of Valencia, which brings together senior port executives to discuss and share the latest in sustainable development and environmental practice, will host the conference from 17 to 19 October.

Valenciaport is Spain’s leading Mediterranean port in terms of commercial traffic and is a cruicial gateway for production and consumer goods to and from the entire Iberian Peninsula.

It also offers extensive network connections to major world ports including America and North Africa.

Source: GreenPort

Spanish City of Valencia to Create ‘Smart Port’ Using Blockchain, Big Data
04 Oct, 2018

One of Spain's busiest ports based in the city of Valencia has announced the creation of a "smart port" which will use blockchain and big data technologies. The news was revealed in a release published Wednesday, Oct. 3, on the port’s official website.

Jose Garcia De La Guia, who is responsible for implementing new technologies in the Port Authority of Valencia, explains that they see blockchain as a good option for improving logistics not only in Valencia, but in many international ports.

Blockchain is widely used by international ports to improve logistics. For instance, UK’s leading port operator will soon take part in pilot shipments using decentralised solutions, while Denmark has revealed its plans to implement blockchain for local ship registers.

Source: Cointelegraph

Inside a Pedestrian-First ‘Superblock’
07 Aug, 2018

Excess traffic, unmitigated pollution, a lack of green space: These problems aren’t unique to Barcelona. But the city’s answer is the creation of a Pedestrian Superblocks, a 40-acre/tic-tac-toe section of the street grid that the city has transformed into pedestrian-first environments has shot the Catalonian capital to the cutting edge of urban design since Mayor Ada Colau took office in 2015. Drawing inspiration from the city’s historic plan, Colau centered her transportation policy platform around wide-scale pedestrianization of the city, with the goal of reducing private car and moped use by 21 percent.

Source: City Lab

The CO2 Roadmap from Rotterdam To Paris
05 Dec, 2017

The Paris climate agreement requires us to cut CO2 emissions by 95%, right across the board; so that means energy, industry, and also mobility. In a city like Rotterdam, mobility is responsible for around 20% of all emissions. So it is not the biggest polluter, but it is certainly an important and complex one. The method used in Rotterdam is called CO2 roadmapping”; It is taken the sum total of vehicles in the city and break it down into various categories. What modes of transport are used in Rotterdam? How many are there? What are they used for? Knowing the contribution made by each mode of transport, Rotterdam can calculate the yields per individual measure.

Source: TNO

Sustainable Urban Design: Rotterdam’s Route of becoming a World Leader as an Experimental City
16 Dec, 2016

Rotterdam opened its doors for Europe and the rest of the world. Additionally, the residents are only happy to be a part of the experiments. It’s pretty impressive how Rotterdam has turned the tables from being known as the home of crime to being more inventive in sustainability compared to other cities 10 times as large.

There are several experiments that are conducted worldwide aimed at developing sustainable urban designs. Currently, Rotterdam stands as one of world’s most sustainable cities. The city loves playing with new ideas. It is fast rising as a sustainable design capital and is a home of dozen experimental projects; moreover by the year 2020, all houses in Rotterdam are set to have carbon neutrality according to law.

Source: Trenditech

Separate Waste Collection in Bologna's City Centre
18 Jul, 2016

During 2016, Hera continued to implement the city centre separate waste collection project, consisting in the construction of mini underground drop-off points for glass and organic waste, and simultaneously starting door-to-door separate waste collection district by district, and other collateral actions such as custom collection for businesses, separately collecting crates (wood and plastic), plastic packaging, paper non-separated waste and to upgrade existing underground drop-off points for disposal of cardboard and non-separated waste.

Source: Hera Group

Green Area Inner-City Agreement to Finance Tree Planting in Bologna
05 Mar, 2016

Bologna, like many Southern European cities, is facing drought, extreme temperatures and water scarcity as a result of climate change. With no national or regional adaptation action plan still in place, the city of Bologna took it upon themselves to draft an Adaptation Plan to Climate Change. The plan, which was approved by the City Council on October 2015, focuses on the development of innovative, concrete measures that could be tested locally. These measures were developed as part of the LIFE+ project BLUE AP (Bologna Local Urban Environment Adaptation Plan for a Resilient City).

Source: European Climate Adaptation Platform

Strategic Plan for Internal Sustainability – Department of Urban Ecology
20 Jan, 2016

The Strategic Plan for Internal Sustainability for the Department of Urban Ecology 2015-2022 (PESI GEU) is the strategic instrument that translates the principle objectives of the Government, the 2012-2022 Citizen Commitment and the Plans from different sectors into concrete actions that make our values a reality. It serves to drive the transition towards a sustainable city and an economy that's respectful of the environment and social rights. PESI GEU defines the internal actions that the Department of Urban Ecology has to bring about in order to incorporate environmental and social sustainability in its different sectors in a gradual, transversal and participative manner.

Source: Barcelona.cat

Bikes Have Overtaken Cars
20 Dec, 2015

The City of Amsterdam has made great efforts to promote greener means of transport, and successfully. The citizens now prefer bicycles over cars.

Over the last thirty years, the municipal authority of Amsterdam has worked hard on encouraging bicycle use by providing cycle paths and lanes; bicycle and pedestrian friendly roads and an extensive network of parking facilities for bicycles. The main bicycle routes through the city are part of the ‘Hoofdnet Fiets’ bicycle network. A complex network of bicycle routes through the entire city, which ensures all of Amsterdam is safely and comfortably accessible by bicycle.

Source: European Commission

Berlin Emphasises the Environmentally Sustainable
04 Dec, 2015

With a youthful population, a history of development built on public transport rather than cars and a reputation for embracing the new and fashionable; it is not surprising to find that Berlin is at the forefront of technological change when it comes to personal mobility.

Germany’s capital has more than 400 electric car-charging points and four hydrogen refuelling stations, making it the leading city in Germany for alternative forms of transport. A major expansion of this infrastructure is under way.

City authorities are determined to build on these environmentally friendly trends, as Berlin grows and parts of the city become more affluent.

Source: Financial Times

Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan of Barcelona (2013-2018)
10 Apr, 2015

The Urban Mobility Plan of Barcelona 2013-2018 attempts to lay down guidelines in matters of mobility for the city of Barcelona in the coming years, with a clear focus on sustainability.

The principal objective of the Plan is to achieve the implementation of Superblocks with a level of traffic network saturation similar to the present. For this purpose, alternative transportation will be better implemented (new orthogonal bus and bicycle networks, carpool and pedestrian lanes, etc.), and restrictive measures will be placed on private vehicles, such as an increase in the price of metered parking.

Source: BCN Ecologica

The Berlin Strategy - Urban Development Concept Berlin 2030
24 Mar, 2015

The city of Berlin is experiencing rapid transformation growth that represents both opportunities and challenges for urban development planning. In managing growth, the city administration is committed to a culture of participation to ensure Berlin continues to be a sustainable and cosmopolitan metropolis.

The Berlin Strategy outlines eight priorities that will determine Berlin’s medium- to long-term development opportunities and gives an overview of actions the city will undertake in order to effectively respond to present and future challenges. Additionally, ten transformation areas have been identified and set geographical priorities to provide a tangible framework for implementing the Strategy at community level.

Source: Metropolis

Valencia Envisages To Reduce Urban Emissions by 40% by 2030
08 Mar, 2015

Valencia is decidedly committed to innovation and sustainability as the basis of a new model of global social development that respects both people and the environment.

In order to achieve these goals, several strategies, which are aligned with European objectives, were launched during the last years. They are being improved by means of targeting more ambitious results in terms of urban and social innovation, both of which allowed Valencia to become a European frontrunner for Smart Cities and sustainable development.

Under the MAtchUp program, Valencia will develop a total of 52 innovative actions in regard to energy, mobility and ICT in various neighbourhoods.

Source: Matchup-projects

Why Berlin is THE City for Smart Transportation & Energy
08 Feb, 2015

Beyond the numbers and reports, Berlin’s affinity for smart transportation and energy can also be felt by simply exploring it personally. Nearly half of the city is green space. Berlin’s transportation system is web of bike lanes, bus routes, subway lines, and more. What is perhaps most striking is the city’s excitement and potential for new technologies that make its role in our fast changing world even more prominent.

Germans frequently use car sharing service such as car2go and DriveNow; but in no other German city did these services catch on as well as in Berlin. Moreover, Along with the opening of new startup spaces such as Factory, Berlin TXL has announced its plan to open up a research and industrial park for urban technologies.

Source: Startup Boot Camp

Rotterdam Plans Most Sustainable Building in the Netherlands
13 Sep, 2014

Rotterdam defines green building policy as policies that affect the entire life of the building, from design and construction to operation and deconstruction; moreover, it is taken into account the economics of green buildings, with particular emphasis on information problems and externalities.  Also for this reason, the city of Rotterdam released a bevy of gorgeous green designs for a new mixed-use city hall building that will become “the most sustainable in The Netherlands”. The city challenged designers to create something spectacular, something that will be energy efficient, use sustainable materials, be useful for various people and events, generate its own energy, recycle and take out its own trash. With this project, Rotterdam wants to present an overview of green building economics and policies through a survey of theoretical and empirical evidence concerning green building practices. 

Source: Inhabitat