Published: 10:16, January 13, 2022 | Updated: 10:18, January 13, 2022
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Region to play big role in green shift
By Hou Liqiang

As home to some of the prominent high-tech companies driving the world's green economy, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is expected to play a significant role in the climate-friendly shift in China and further afield, a former United Nations official said.

Erik Solheim, former executive director of the UN Environment Programme, made the remarks at the opening ceremony for the GBA Development Forum (Guangzhou) & Vision China event, on Wednesday.

A number of countries have taken concrete action to create a greener world, he said.

Late last year, for example, the People's Bank of China announced that it would start a new carbon emissions reduction facility to lower the interest rate for the development of renewable resources and projects and enhance energy efficiency.

In the United States, President Joe Biden has made several proposals related to green infrastructure to Congress, and in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is investing heavily in solar and green hydrogen, Solheim continued.

"But the Greater Bay Area is really at the forefront of these shifts," he said, citing the rapid increase of electric vehicles as an example.

Shenzhen has 16,000 electric buses and 20,000 electric taxis. There are more electric buses in the metropolis today than in the entire world outside China, he said.

The Bay Area is also home to some of the most dynamic companies in the world, including Tencent, Huawei and DJI, which are "driving new tech and the green economy".

"I also encourage the Greater Bay Area to take an interest in the fair transition for China, because Guangdong will surely benefit greatly from the green shift," he said. "It will create millions of new jobs, a better environment, and the city will contribute to the great global cause of fighting climate change."

Solheim also noted an opportunity for the GBA to play a role in the global green shift, following China's announcement that it would stop building new coal-fired power projects overseas last September.