Ho Chi Minh City – December 06, 2017. As co-sponsors of the Asia Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) Partnership Forum, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Viet Nam Ministry of Construction jointly organized a high-level plenary panel on Financing Low Emission Development and Green Growth in Asian Cities. It was chaired by Mr. Orestes Anastasia of GGGI’s Office of Thought Leadership, and included a keynote address by Dr. Nguyen Tuong Van, Director General of Urban Development Agency, Ministry of Construction as well as remarks from Mr. Kinlay Dorjee, Mayor of Thimpu, Bhutan and Ms. Nanda Jichkar, Mayor of Nagpur, India. The session was attended by approximately 150 participants including high-level government officials, representatives from international development organizations, experts, scholars, and others. The session aimed to outline emerging trends in promoting effective financing for low emission development and green growth in Asia’s cities and to identify of innovative financing instruments and policy models used in green urban development projects in Asia with showcasing of country successes.
In chairing the session, Mr. Anastasia recognized the important achievements of Viet Nam as well as the cities of Nagpur and Thimpu in demonstrating green growth successes, and remarked that “promoting green cities is among the most important priorities for achieving low emission development while continuing to contribute to economic growth and social development goals.”
In his opening remarks, Dr. Van expressed “Global cooperation to timely share the latest advances in knowledge and methods on implementing urban emissions reduction is essential. We cannot deal with the global and regional pollution as well as the climate change without the close cooperation and coordination among sectors and countries”
“As the mayor I have to make tough decisions to tackle congestion – parking spaces need to be reduced, parking charges need to be doubled. I need to increase the use of public transportation and other methods – such as encouraging citizens to walk and bicycle”, Mr. Kinlay Dorjee, Mayor of Thimpu, Bhutan said.
Immediately following the high-level panel, GGGI also collaborated with Ministry of Construction in organizing a parallel session on “Urban Planning for Low Emission Development: Success Stories- Green Cities”, moderated by Mr. Adam Ward, GGGI Country Representative for Viet Nam. The session’s objective was to provide insights into the application of different urban planning tools and methods to enable sustainable urban mobility to promote green, low emission urban development in cities in Asian developing and emerging economies, especially:
- Success stories from across Asia regarding planning approaches, tools, and methodologies;
- Key factors to enable urban mobility, and unique challenges in Asia; and
- South-South knowledge exchange between country participants.
Mr. Ward said that “Today’s session highlighted the common challenges across Asia’s cities – but also how the solutions are within our grasp. We can see public transportation increased, improved energy efficiency of buildings and the necessary green urban space – it was a call to action from Viet Nam, Myanmar, and Mongolia.”
In both sessions, the participants shared experience and lesson learned from implementing green growth across Asia’s cities. The meeting is intended to further support the scale-up of urban green growth.
During the Forum, Mr. Anastasia also delivered a brief demonstration of the forthcoming Green Growth Index, which ranks countries based on their green growth performance and can simulate impacts of green policies and investment strategies. Country representatives expressed interest in the tool and its future release.