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2017MIECF Keynote Speaker Analyses Challenges and Opportunities Related to the Green Economy

The 2017 Macao International Environmental Co-operation Forum and Exhibition (2017MIECF) invited renowned expert Mr. Achim Steiner, a former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, to be the keynote speaker for the event. Mr. Steiner’s speech, titled “Challenges and Opportunities in the Green Economy”, was delivered at MIECF’s “Green Forum”. Mr. Steiner currently serves as the Director of the Oxford Martin School, and as International Vice-Chair of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.

During his speech, Mr. Steiner analysed issues and strategies related to the management of global carbon emissions, of water resources and of energy consumption. He also shared insights on the role played by the green economy in the area of environmental protection, and discussed views on the future development and evolution of this concept.

Renowned Guest Explores Topics related to the Green Economy

This year marks the 10-year milestone of MIECF. The organisers of this year’s event invited renowned expert Mr. Steiner to deliver a keynote speech at today’s (30 March) opening ceremony. In his speech, Mr Steiner analysed the current level of global carbon emissions and provided the audience with data showing a severe upsurge in global consumption of water resources, food and various types of energy. He also discussed different definitions, provided by various organisations, for concepts such as the green economy and green growth. Notwithstanding such differences, countries around the world had been continuously increasing their respective investments relating to sustainable development, he noted.

Mr. Steiner quoted data on several indicators showing that reductions of greenhouse gas emissions bring several advantages, most importantly regarding improvements of air quality that translate into improvements in the health of the public. According to Mr. Steiner, policymakers on economic matters should push forward a framework that fosters “positive economic growth” – addressing issues such as short-term market failures, lacklustre economic performance and increasing risks from climate change – in order to achieve sustainable economic development and to promote “green” production methods. Mr. Steiner further pointed out that policymakers on economic matters should be able to master the evolution and change in investment structures, in order to facilitate transformation towards more flexible management systems. Taking also into account the challenges created by economics and politics, policymakers could develop and deploy new measuring and modelling tools, so as to improve their policy formulation.

Mr. Steiner will join a special session tomorrow (31 March) titled “Harnessing Environmental Innovation as Key Driver for Sustainable Development”, as part of MIECF’s “Green Forum”. He will explore with session attendees topics on environmental innovation as a key driver for sustainable development. Other sessions featured tomorrow in the “Green Forum” include: “The Blueprint for Innovative Green Development”; “The Ways to Drive Higher Performance in Green Buildings”; “Sustainable Coastal Management, Climate Adaptation and Resilience of Cities”; and “Maximising Energy Saving in Buildings – Efficiency and Assessment”.

Highlights of the 10th Anniversary of MIECF

As part of the celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of MIECF, this year’s “Green Forum” includes a roster of renowned speakers to debate on a range of topics of great interest. A total of 55 environmental protection specialists and activists, leaders of multinational companies and policymakers from Mainland China, the United States, Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Japan, Portugal, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macao and other countries and regions, will join in-depth discussions on a range of topics including: innovative green development policies; manufacturing business strategies; tourism in coastal regions; and green buildings. The goal of the “Green Forum” is to enhance regional exchange on environmental issues, fully delivering on Macao’s role as a platform for co-operation and exchange between the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region and international markets – with particular reference to the environmental sector in Mainland China and Portuguese-speaking Countries – thus facilitating co-operation and development among international environmental protection enterprises.

Following a similar initiative during the 2014 edition of MIECF, the 2017 event organisers again collaborated with the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China, to organise the session “Blueprint for Innovative Green Development”. Several experts from China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection will discuss topics related to ecological and environmental planning as featured in the National 13th Five-Year Plan and the green “Belt and Road” initiative. Participants will also exchange views on strategies related to environmental protection and the promotion of renewable energies, and debate on successful cases of green innovation development.

The session “The Ways to Drive Higher Performance in Green Buildings” will explore cutting-edge innovative technologies and strategies for the development of green buildings, and solutions to introduce green building to different sectors, including manufacturing, public sector and hospitality services.

High-profile speaker Prof. Ouyang Zhiyun, Deputy Director of the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, will deliver a keynote speech during a session titled “Sustainable Coastal Management, Climate Adaptation and Resilience of Cities”. The session will be moderated by Mr. Nuno Lacasta, President of the Board of the Portuguese Environment Agency, and will include several other speakers.

The session “Maximizing Energy Saving in Buildings – Efficiency and Assessment” was a workshop with in-depth case sharing by the speakers.

Also scheduled for tomorrow at the “Green Forum” is the “Pan-Pearl River Delta Region (PPRD) Session”, which highlights MIECF as a key green exchange platform in the PPRD Region. Mr. Jiang Xiaoting, President of the Sichuan Province Environmental Science Association, will deliver a presentation on the valuable experience and achievements of a recent visit to Brazil and Portugal by a business delegation from the PPRD Region.