Beijing Airport Expressway
Counting the Mercedes Sedans
It is that time of year again, and the folks at the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai have put together a more-impressive-than-normal slate of speakers for their 2010 Conference being held in September. The topic this year is Green Cities: A Call to Action.
This is a profoundly important topic for China specifically, but for the emerging markets and developing world in particular. Scientists are still trying to get their heads around the environmental effects of a billion and a half people (between China and India alone) moving to cities in the next few decades. Mitigating those effects is going to require more than band-aid, single-system solution. What is becoming clear is that cities the way we have been building them for the last years cannot be the cities we live in a century from now.
The Shanghai conference looks set to start a debate about which way this needs to go. Confirmed speakers include:
• Mark Ginsberg, Senior Executive, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
• Christine Gregoire, Governor of the U.S. State of Washington
• Hunter Jiang, CEO, GCL Solar
• David Leonhardt, Economics Reporter, The New York Times
• Gene Lupia, President, Environmental Services, CHM HILL
• Gary Rieschel, Founder & Managing Director, Qiming Ventures
• Jonathan Woetzel, Director, McKinsey & Company
• Kevin Wale, President & Managing Director, General Motors China
Expected Chinese officials include:
• Liu Yajun, the Chief Commissioner for Foreign Investment of MOFCOM
• Lu Zhushan, the Governor of Zhejiang province
• Fu Zhihuan, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the 10th National People’s Congress
• Han Wenke, Director General, Professor, Energy Research Institute, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) & Co-Chairman, U.S.-China Clean Energy Forum
While on the one hand the participants seem uniformly “establishment,” I would argue that it is going to require the involvement of entities of these sizes to make green cities something more than a graduate student’s wet dream.
My understanding is that there are still some seats available for the conference, and you can find them (and more information) at <a href=”http://www.AmCham-Shanghai.org/Sustainability.