World Resources Institute and EMBARQ China align with Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport
The World Resources Institute (WRI) and EMBARQ China are now professionally affiliated with the key government agency accountable for mitigating emissions from the transport sector in Beijing, China’s capital city. Beijing is also China’s most motorized city, with a vehicle fleet totaling 5.4 million. A recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport (BMCT) marked a milestone development in EMBARQ China’s strategic partnerships with cities in China, the world’s most populous country, where 53% of the population lives in urban areas.
EMBARQ China strengthens partnership with BMCT
In November 2013, WRI and EMBARQ China signed a MoU with the BMCT in Beijing. BMCT oversees all transport-related issues in the city, including urban transport planning, transit operation, bike-sharing, parking, vehicle ownership restriction, and more. EMBARQ China has worked with BMCT since January 2013, when Director Haitao Zhang was approached for collaboration on timely policy research topics such as Beijing’s low emission zone (LEZ) scheme.
The future areas of collaboration outlined by the MoU are transit-oriented development (TOD) and other transport planning activities, policy and technical research related to transportation and the environment, public campaigning and marketing to promote sustainable transport, and capacity building that will include training, technical exchanges, mid-career education, and scholarly exchange. More immediate collaborative actions include continued work on LEZs, improving Beijing’s non-motorized transport infrastructure, conducting a transport-related emission inventory, and organizing capacity building workshops to share international experiences on low-carbon transport development.
WRI, EMBARQ China, and BMCT officials participate in MoU ceremony
Several high-ranking officials from WRI, EMBARQ China, and BMCT participated in the MoU signing ceremony. Andrew Steer, President and CEO of WRI, and Liu Xiaoming, Director of BMCT, signed the MoU while Zhang; Dr. Lailai Li, WRI China Country Director; Qinghong Wang, WRI China Office Operation and Development Manager; and Yamin Wang, WRI China Office Communications Officer, also represented WRI. Xiaosong Li, Vice Director of BMCT; Jun Rong, BMCT Commissioner; Changbo Luo, BMCT Commissioner, and BMCT department chiefs were also among the attendees.
Following the MoU signing, WRI hosted a Sustainable Urban Transport Workshop with BMCT at its headquarters in Washington, DC, on December 17, 2013. Steer; Holger Dalkmann, EMBARQ Director; and Robin King, EMBARQ Director for Urban Development and Accessibility, were among the presenters at the workshop, which focused on governance, air quality, and looking to the future of urban transport in Beijing.
MoU aims to facilitate sustainable transport development in Beijing
Beijing is already taking proactive steps to tackling air pollution, traffic congestion, energy consumption, and other adverse impacts from the transport sector. Transport plays an important role in its Clean Air Action Plan (2013-2017), which calls for a 5% decrease in vehicle fuel consumption from 2012 levels by 2017, and outlines concrete actions for BMCT in order to meet that goal. By signing a MoU with BMCT, WRI and EMBARQ China have committed to providing support on the road to achieving sustainable and low-carbon development in Beijing’s urban transport sector.
China’s need for sustainable development is dire, due to rising pressure from dangerous air pollution and traffic congestion. As the country’s capital city, Beijing’s success will hold significant meaning for many other Chinese cities, serving as a beacon for them to follow.