Air Quality Issues Explored at the Green Forum

Exchange of opinions between Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland and participants.

On the second day of the 2015 Macao International Environmental Co-operation Forum and Exhibition (2015MIECF), four sessions and one seminar were held at the Green Forum. Participants delivered speeches and discussed about issues relating to air quality and agreed that the Green Forum has satisfactorily performed its function of exploring issues of air quality around the world. The themes of the sessions held today included “Strategizing Climate Change Mitigation- Innovation in Policy and Technology”, “Clean Urban Air – lessons Learnt and Future Trajectories”, “Special Interview Session with Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland” and “Air Pollution Prevention Policies and Treatment Technology in the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region Roundtable Discussion”. At the “Clean Urban Air – Lessons Learnt and Future Trajectories” Session, several success stories of cities setting good air quality standards were presented and discussions were made on the key factors that reduce air pollution and emissions without compromising economic growth. Professor Hao Jiming, Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Dean of the Institute of Environmental Science and Engineering of Tsinghua University (China) delivered his keynote speech, to introduce the works done by China in treating air pollution. Professor Li Jinhui, Professor of School of Environment, Tsinghua University (China) was the moderator of this session. Other speakers included Mr. Feng Bo, Division Director, Department of Science, Technology and Standards, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People´s Republic of China; Dr. Liu Wenqing, Director, Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering (China); Mr. Elliot Treharne, Air Quality Manager, Great London Authority (United Kingdom); Mr. Dave Ho Tak Yin, Principal Environmental Protection Officer (Air Policy), Environmental Protection Department of the Hong Kong SAR Government (Hong Kong, China); Dr. Jason Blake Cohen, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore (Singapore). Professor Hao Jiming said that it is necessary to introduce revolution in energy consumption, in order to reduce irrational consumption of energy; promote revolution in energy supply, in order to create diversified energy supply systems; promote energy technology revolution, to motivate the upgrade of the industry; promote revolution in the power system, in order to open-up supply channels. At the same time, it is also necessary to promote the prevention and treatment of mobile sources of pollution, given that pollution generated by vehicles is one of the challenges that China must face. It is also necessary to deal with non-road mobile pollution, he added. According to Professor Hao Jiming, promoting the study on the impacts of air pollution on human health will become the major drive for improving air quality and reducing pollution. Therefore it is necessary to improve the accuracy, reliability and openness of the roadside monitoring stations, aim at increasing the capacity in scientific authentication and decision-making by means of various approaches such as technology development and reduction of emissions at source. To control pollution, it is necessary to establish goals for environmental quality, as well as continuous and gradual efforts. He stressed that this is the only way that we can expect any improvement in air quality. Mr. Yu Jixin, Secretary, ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee Secretariat (Macao, China) was the moderator for the “Strategizing Climate Change Mitigation – Innovation in Policy and Technology” Session. Speakers included Mr. Li Junfeng, Director, National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation of the People´s Republic of China; Ms. Ana Teresa Perez, member of the Governing Council, Portuguese Environment Agency, Public Institute (Portugal); Mr. Fong Soi Kun, Director, Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (Macau, China(); Mr. Zhang Feng, Deputy Director of Policy Research Office, Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau (china), Mr. Stefan M. Better, Senior Policy Advisor, International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (France); Professor Gao Xiang, Vice President of Energy Engineering, Zhejiang University (China) and Mr. Jeff Swartz, International Policy Director, International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) (Switzerland). The participants reviewed the various strategies to slow down climate change, including the promotion of technology innovation, technology transfer, as well as supporting policies and strategies; identifying the systematic impact of adopting emission reduction policies; nurturing favourable conditions to transform the concern for the emission-reduction into sustainable development strategies. The participants remarked that Macao needs to further extend and strengthen the monitoring of climate change and the collection of the respective data, so as to create a comprehensive database to serves as a reliable and comprehensive source of information for the preparation of reports, research projects as well as the formulation of future policies. At the same time, with regard to Macao´s vulnerabilities, participants proposed the adoption of scientific strategies to address climate change, with regular evaluation and timely adjustments and improvements. Also, it is necessary to improve the current natural disaster warning system and the mechanism for handling emergencies, in order to cope with more extreme and severe weather incidents and water scarcity which could be caused by climate change. It is also suggested to incorporate the impacts and strategies for tackling climate change into the economic and social development plan, so as to enhance the city’s overall capacity in tackling climate change. Dr. Zhao Wei, Rector of the University of Macau, was the moderator at the Special Interview Session with Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Former Prime Minister of Norway, Chairman of the World Commission on Environmental and development (the “Brundtland Commission”, Special UN Envoy on Climate Change and Former Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO), generally recognized as the “Mother” of sustainable development. Dr. Brundtland stressed that climate change around the world is constantly undergoing changes and that the problems are becoming increasingly challenging. Under this circumstance, it is necessary that all countries fulfil their own responsibilities, to reach a consensus and establish objectives, stressing that problems could only be solved with the concerted efforts of everyone. During the two-day Forum, six sessions and one seminar were held. Over 50 specialists in environmental protection, leaders of multi-national companies in the environmental industry and regional policy-makers from China, the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Macao, China delivered speeches on the hot topic of “air quality”. According to the participants, the Green Forum played an important role in exploring the various issues related to air quality around the world.

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