Plug/PSA: Shanghai AmCham’s 2010 Sustainability Conference

Beijing Airport Expressway
Counting the Mercedes Sedans
1157 hrs.

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 150 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, CH2M 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.

www.AmCham-Shanghai.org/Sustainability.