EMBARQ China helping to create a blueprint for low carbon development in city of Qingdao
As an important port city in northern China, Qingdao has been a key business hub over the past century, and is becoming even more influential as China emerges as a new commercial center of the world. However, rapid urbanization and increasing vehicle use have caused many problems in the city – similar to other rapidly growing cities worldwide – including traffic congestion, increased greenhouse gas (GHG) and local air pollutants emissions, and water shortages.
Because of its importance in the region – and because its development problems are representative of other cities – Qingdao has been chosen as one of two pilot cities in China for the Sustainable and Livable Cities Initiative launched by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in February 2012. This five-year initiative, supported by the Caterpillar Foundation, aims to develop low-carbon city models and pathways for environmentally sustainable urbanization in China, India, and Brazil. WRI is partnering with up to five urban centers to demonstrate how they can develop effective and practical strategies to increase energy efficiency, curb greenhouse gas emissions, secure water supply, and improve urban mobility and land use.
Building on success promoting low carbon development in Qingdao
EMBARQ China’s current involvement with Qingdao will build on WRI’s Low Carbon Blueprint Plan project, launched in March 2011 and successfully completed in April 2012, in which WRI cooperated with the Qingdao government to help it reach its emissions reduction goals. With generous support and guidance from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Asian Development Bank, and the Qingdao Development and Reform Commission, WRI created a multi-discipline, multi-cultural research team with experts from around the world. The team helped the Qingdao government define a low carbon development strategy and emission reduction goals. The team investigated areas such as energy and environmental policies, renewable energy, energy efficiency improvements, and more. WRI and Qingdao’s efforts also provided a blueprint for China’s regional low-carbon development strategy.
Making Qingdao a sustainable, livable city
As part of the Sustainable and Livable Cities Initiative, EMBARQ China’s partnership with Qingdao will focus on three main goals. First, EMBARQ China is helping create a plan for environmentally smarter growth that will identify key steps to address climate, water, and land use and mobility challenges in Qingdao. Second, EMBARQ China will implement pilot projects to help Qingdao meet its carbon emissions reduction targets, promote integrated development and transport, reduce pollution levels, and improve water quality and availability. Third, EMBARQ China will use results from these projects to communicate the benefits of following smarter urban growth strategies to decision-makers in emerging cities worldwide.
Findings from the initial research phase will be unveiled in Qingdao on September 28, 2014, and will concentrate on energy use associated with water, greenhouse gas emissions data management, and other low-carbon urbanization and urban transport solutions. As part of the initiative, EMBARQ China will collaborate with governments, businesses, academics and communities in Qingdao to improve the lives of millions of people, creating healthier and more prosperous locations to live and work.