Cities to become major arena for sustainable development: experts

The Forum on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was held in Shenzhen on Jan. 16. Experts attending the event agreed that innovation, transformation and rebuilding are essential for sustainable development, Science and Technology Daily reported on Jan. 22.

In March 2018, China approved Shenzhen, Taiyuan and Guilin as demonstration zones under the sustainable development agenda. If Shenzhen can create a new path to sustainability, it will set an example for the country and world in this field, said Wu Hongbo, Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development Goals at Tsinghua University.

Wu explained that the country needs international cooperation to implement sustainable development through technology, adding that in this regard, China has made unremitting efforts, such as its proposal to build a global energy network, and donating the world’s first 30-meter resolution global land cover data set to the United Nations (UN).

In the past four decades of reform and opening-up, China’s speed of development has surpassed that of developed countries, with rapid consumption of resources. To date, 74 Chinese cities are listed as resource-exhausted.

China released its national plan for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on Sept. 19, 2016.

To build socialism with Chinese characteristics, it is imperative for China to implement sustainable development strategies, said Qian Yi, an environmental professor at Tsinghua University.

By 2050, about 2.5 billion people will have moved into cities, meaning urban dwellers will make up 70 percent of the world’s total population, Wu said, noting that the fast speed of urbanization will make cities the significant areas to practice sustainable development.