On July 9, BRI International Green Development Coalition (BRIGC), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), South China Institute of Environmental Sciences (SCIES) and National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center (NMEMC) jointly held the Symposium on Maritime Community with Shared Future and Green Development in the Context of Carbon Neutrality & Inception Meeting for Study on the Green Development of BRI Maritime Connectivity.
The meeting was attended by a number of invited speakers, including, inter alia, Mr. Erik Solheim, Convener of the BRIGC Advisory Committee; Ms. Zhou Guomei, Director General of Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center (FECO), MEE; Mr. Li Yonghong, Deputy Director General of FECO, MEE; Ms. Wang Juying, Director General of NMEMC, MEE; Mr. Li Kaiming, Deputy Director General of SCIES, MEE; Mr. Zhang Jianyu, International Coordinator of BRIGC Advisory Committee and Vice President of EDF; and Mr. John Mimikakis, Vice President of EDF.
The event also attracted more than 70 representatives from about 20 Chinese and international research institutions, NGOs and businesses, including COSCO Shipping Group, Tsinghua University, CCCC-FHDI Engineering Co, Ltd, Shenzhen Yantian International Container Terminals, Friends of Ocean Action (FOA) of World Economic Forum (WEF), Equitable Maritime Consulting, Duke Kunshan University, and Harbin Engineering University.
Under the theme of green and low-carbon development of Maritime Silk Road, the meeting focused on key areas such as green port and green shipping to discuss the opportunities and challenges of marine ecological and environmental protection and the sustainable utilization of marine resources, and explored the roadmap for green development of BRI maritime connectivity in the context of carbon neutrality. The Study on Green Development of BRI Maritime Connectivity was officially launched on the meeting.
Mr. Erik Solheim pointed out that the ocean provides endless possibilities for the world to address climate change and biodiversity challenges. Countries along the Maritime Silk Road could strengthen cooperation in green port, carbon reduction in shipping industry, maritime biodiversity conservation and sustainable fishing. The joint research will also provide insights to the green development of Maritime Silk Road.
Ms. Zhou Guomei noted that since the establishment of Thematic Partnership on Maritime Community with Shared Future and Maritime Environmental Governance, BRIGC has been actively promoting policy communication on green and low-carbon development in ocean-related areas. Moreover, China-ASEAN cooperation in addressing climate change and protecting mangroves has delivered positive outcomes. In the future, BRIGC will continue to strengthen blue partnership and support the transition to high-quality development model in ocean-related areas.
Ms. Wang Juying said that there are both opportunities and challenges in addressing climate change in ocean-related areas. Therefore, it is important to enhance cooperation in marine pollution control and emission reduction, climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as marine ecosystem protection among BRI participating countries and accelerate the development of a maritime community with shared future.
Mr. Li Kaiming mentioned that China has experience and good practices that could be replicated in BRI participating countries in the development and operation of green port. Supporting the development of green port in BRI participating countries is of great significance to promoting the green recovery of the global economy and realizing the goals proposed by the Paris Agreement.
Representatives attending the meeting exchanged ideas on a series of topics, including pollution prevention and control in ports, shipping emission reduction and BRI cooperation on the sustainable development of ocean. Mr. Cai Meijiang, Full-time External Director of the COSCO Shipping Group, introduced China’s experience in shipping energy saving and emission reduction, and analyzed the shipping demand in the development of global trade, as well as the challenges and possible solutions for global shipping emission reduction. Ms. Li Yue, Chief Engineer of the Transport Planning and Research Institute of the Ministry of Transport, introduced the key measures for low-carbon development of shipping industry and proposed suggestions for promoting shipping emission reduction in a coordinated manner. Mr. Ronald Halim, Principal Transport Economist of Equitable Maritime Consulting, analyzed the development trend of carbon emission in countries along the Maritime Silk Road and proposed the roadmap for green development of BRI maritime connectivity. Mr. Zhang Junjie, Director of Environmental Research Center of Duke Kunshan University, pointed out that there is a huge funding gap to be filled in maritime eco-environmental protection, and that we could use green finance to facilitate investment in sustainable development of ocean.
The Study on the Green Development of BRI Maritime Connectivity is the first research project of BRIGC relating the sustainable development of ocean. The project will be carried by BRIGC Thematic Partnership on Maritime Community with Shared Future and Maritime Environmental Governance together with BRIGC Secretariat. The study will comprehensively analyze the current situation and potential of BRI participating countries in the green and low-carbon development of port and shipping, introduce best Chinese and international practices in the development of green port and green shipping, and propose policy recommendations for promoting the green and low-carbon development of BRI maritime connectivity.