The 2015 Macao International Environmental Co-operation Forum and Exhibition (2015MIECF) was officially opened today. This year’s Green Forum consists of six sessions and one seminar. Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Former Prime Minister of Norway, former Chair of the World Commission on Environmental Development (WCED) (known as the “Brundtland Commission”), UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, Former Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), and generally recognised as the “Mother” of sustainable development, delivered her keynote speech this morning on how to face and resolve issues relating to climate change and energy, so as to ensure global sustainable development. According to Dr Brundtland, 2015 is a crucial year for global foresight and collaboration, putting to the test our ability in tackling the real danger of climate change, and to agree on the goal of sustainable development, these are our common responsibilities for the safety and well-being of our present and future generations. In fact all the parties involved are working together and eventually it will become a strength that impact on all, and show how new awareness will be shared across the world. She said that energy is crucial, for without energy, there is no development. Without sustainable energy, no sustainable development can be achieved. Dr Brundtland pointed out that, with a population of nearly 60 million, the Pearl River Delta region has been identified by the World Bank as the world’s largest urban area, in terms of its area and population. Development patterns in that region will indeed influence, not just the millions living there, but the impact will be on a larger, global scale, involving the future of man as well as its relationship with Planet Earth. According to an assessment carried out in January 2015, seven out of ten Chinese cities with the best air quality are located in the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) region, where Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong province are. Compared to a survey conducted in 2013, when the PPRD region was assessed as the most polluted region in the whole China, it shows that the air quality in the region has significantly improved. Dr Brundtland believes that in face of the pressing challenges, clear policies are needed. For instance, Macao needs to work towards its stated goal as a “green low carbon city”. Clean air and using renewable energy, reducing the use of coal are necessary. This is not just an issue on how to face climate changes, but above all to reduce harm to the public health. In order to bring all countries and peoples into an era of sustainable development and progress, while protecting Planet Earth, an approach with wide coverage and sustainability is needed, and to overcome poverty and safeguard dignity. Within which, improvement in sanitary conditions and education for all, are viable and acceptable alternatives. A Special Interview Session with Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland will be scheduled for tomorrow afternoon (27 March), to enable participants to know more about her insights, strategies and experience on the world´s environmental protection movement, green economy, climate change and sustainable tourism. The interview session will be moderated by Professor Zhao Wei, Rector of the University of Macau. A Q&A session will be held during which participants will have an opportunity to interact and exchange opinions with one of the world´s top environmentalists. On the other hand, two sessions of the Green Forum were held today, respectively, “The Business Case for Better Air Quality - Solutions for the Commercial and Industrial Sectors” and “Reviewing Air Quality and the Transportation Industry”. Several other sessions will be held tomorrow (27 March), under the following themes: “Strategizing Climate Change Mitigation – Innovation and Policy and Technology”, “Clean Urban Air – Lessons Learnt and Future Trajectories”, “Green Chemical Forum – Standardization Drives the Sustainable Development of Chemical Industry”, and the “Pan Pearl River Delta Region Session – Air Prevention Policies and Treatment Technology in the Pan-pearl River Delta Region Roundtable Discussion”. Session 3 - “Strategizing Climate Change Mitigation – Innovation in Policy and Technology”, will analyze various strategies to mitigate climate change, including: promoting innovation, technology transfer, supportive policies and strategies: demonstrating systemic impacts of mitigation policy options: and fostering enabling conditions to mainstream mitigation concerns into sustainable development. While Session 4 – “Clean Urban Air – Lessons Learnt and Future Trajectories”, will showcase various success stories of prominent megacities in making the standard for good air quality, and to discuss the key factors that reduced air pollution and emissions without compromising economic growth. Critical solutions in relations to the cross-boundary and environment factors will be discussed. The Carbon Forum Asia Workshop 2015, a concurrent event held during MIECF, is organised for the first time in Macao by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). On the first day of the two-day event, two workshops were held today under the themes “State & Trends of Carbon Pricing in Asia and Beyond” and “China´s National Carbon Market: Expectations and Outlook”. Top enterprises, representatives of the financial sector and government officers from Asia Pacific and the world were invited to interact and exchange their insights.