On June 17, 2021 (Beijing Time), Belt and Road International Transport Symposium（BRITS）— Carbon Neutrality and Sustainable Transport Experts Salon was successfully held in Xi’an, Shaanxi province. The salon was co-organized by the Belt and Road International Green Development Coalition (BRIGC), Belt and Road International Transport Alliance (BRITA), China Highway and Transportation Society as well as Chang’an University. The event gathered a number of famous international experts to discuss the carbon-neutral green transportation for the sustainable development of transport.
Ms. Meng Qiu, the Second Inspector of the Ministry of Transport, Mr. Li Yonghong, Deputy Director of the Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Mr. Liu Wenjie, Vice President and Secretary General of CHTS as well as Executive President Secretary General of BRITA and Mr. Sha Aimin, Chairman of Chang’an University and Vice Chairman of BRITA attended the salon, emphasizing the positive impact of green mobility and low-carbon transport on climate change, and discussing green climate recovery and low-carbon and sustainable development. They proposed to continuously develop the environmental management of transportation infrastructure, applying low-carbon transportation tools to coordinate different sides to improve the green level of transportation projects.
During the salon, Chang’an University was licensed as BRITA Training Center, Mr. Zhou Wei, Mr. Meng Qiu, Mr. Li Yonghong, and Mr. Sha Aimin witnessed the ceremony.
Mr. Zhou Wei gave a presentation on the Green Transformation of BRI Transportation under the Double Carbon Target. In his report, it was suggested that China strives to achieve carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, which must be given enough attention. Mr. Zhou Wei pointed out that the current carbon emission pattern shows three major features: firstly, there are countries that have achieved carbon dioxide emission reduction and countries whose carbon emissions are still increasing; secondly, global carbon emissions are highly concentrated, with China, the United States, India, Russia and Japan accounting for 60% of the total; thirdly, China’s double carbon target is of great significance, but also a difficult task. Finally, Zhou Wei suggested to promote the low-carbon transformation of transportation, we should focus on strengthening structural optimization, management improvement, technological progress and demand-side management, advocating green consumption and cultural innovation, so that to promote green living and green mobility gradually become a social habit and fashion.
Dr. George A. Giannopoulos, Cor. Member Academy of Athens and Vice-President of BRITA, gave an online presentation on Decarbonizing the Road Transport Sector: A European Approach. George gave an overview of the overall EU policy on decarbonization. An ambitious schedule of 50 Green Deal actions was proposed at the end of 2019, but some of these have had to be delayed because of the COVID pandemic. George proposed an integrated approach based on three levels of actions, namely, reduce the demand for mobility and transport, improve vehicle technologies and substitute fossil fuels (Clean energy carriers).
Mr. Wang Yuanqing, professor of Chang’an University, gave a presentation on Whole Life Carbon Assessment and Road Transportation Carbon Peaking and Carbon Neutrality. The main source of carbon emissions in the industry is the transporting process. Prof. Wang suggested that the research institutions figure out the sources of carbon emissions, quantify the carbon reduction targets from different perspectives, find the most suitable method to do emission reduction through carbon sinks. Carbon capture is a long-term idea, and it is suggested that highway certifications should be carried out to promote the green development of highway industry.
Sebastian Castellanos, senior manager of the World Resources Institute, gave an online presentation on Our Global Transport Challenge: Reaching Net 0 by 2050. Sebastian suggested that we need to come up with strategies to get people to reduce their use of private cars. The one thing that governments really have a lot of control is government spending. Countries around the world are putting a lot of money into economic recovery right now, but most of the money currently being invested is not fully serving the decarbonization vision. The money that governments put into roads and cars could be tilted slightly toward public transportation, walking, bicycling, and balance bikes, which are all modes of transportation that help decarbonize easily.
Ms. Helen Kavvadia, Visiting Research Associate of University of Luxembourg and Former Senior Adviser at the Communications Department of the European Investment Bank, presented a working paper on Regional Development Banks Green Finance for Green Transport and other Infrastructure. Ms. Helen believes that in order to promote better coordination among market players, it is necessary to green finance a role to play in promoting sustainable development of transportation infrastructure, and to establish closer partnerships. BRI can serve as a ‘conduit’ for the exchange, interconnection and cooperation of people and goods, information and data, innovation, norms and culture.
During the conference, Carbon Emission Standards for the Automotive Industry in BRI Countries was initiated. The standards shall be composed jointly by BRIGC, CATARC and CHTS, mainly focuses on the green development and carbon emission standards in the automotive industry in the “Belt and Road” countries, benchmark them with the international carbon emission standards, and propose policy recommendations to improve the carbon emission standards in the automotive industry in the BRI countries.
The salon was moderated by Ms Nina Guan, Director of International Cooperation Department of CHTS and Executive Secretary of BRITA, and Ms Yingqi Liu, Professor of Beijing Jiaotong University. At the end of the salon, there was a roundtable discussion with Mr. Huang Quansheng, Deputy Director of Environmental Resources Institute, Planning and Research Institute of Ministry of Transport，Mr. Li Yanlin, Deputy Director of Logistics Center, Scientific Research Institute of Ministry of Transport，Ms Gao Yuan, Senior Manager of Carbon Trading Center, Beijing Green Exchange, Mr. Song Hecai, Chief Engineer of Overseas Business Department, China Construction Civil Engineering Corporation, Mr. Yu Shunxin, Deputy Chief Engineer, Engineering and Technology Research Institute, CCCC Second Highway Survey and Design Research Institute Co. Ltd., Ms Li Panwen, Deputy Director of the BRIGC secretariat, Mr. Liu Rui, Deputy Director of CHTC, Ms Susanna Zammataro, Director General of IRF, Ms Yulia ZVORYKINA, Director and Member of Supervisory Board of Vnesheconombank Institute, Mr. Ashish GAJUREL, Secretary General of Nepal Automobile’s Association (NASA), Mr. Hamid Turaev, Director of International Cooperation Department of Tashkent State University of Transport, Uzbekistan attending the roundtable and talked about the sustainable development and green mobility.