‘Shanghai ready to help Indian cities to combat pollution’

Shanghai: China’s financial hub Shanghai is ready to share advanced technology as well as ‘green’ practices with Indian cities to combat the effects of environmental degradation caused by fast-paced economic development, a senior official has said.

“It is a fact that environmental pollution is a challenge for cities around the globe and we are all attaching great importance to how we treat the environment. That is why a major consensus has been reached globally to save the environment,” said Fu Jihong, Deputy Director General of the Shanghai Municipal Foreign Affairs Office, while referring to efforts being made worldwide for environmental conservation.

“With such a consensus as an important foundation, there will be increasingly closer collaboration in the world when it comes to conservation of the environment,” he said at an occasion to mark the 15th anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) here.

He added that Shanghai, which is fast becoming the nerve centre of the economic world, is working towards sharing its experiences, best practices as well as the latest technology in the field of environmental conservation with partner cities.

Beijing in China and New Delhi in India are among the world’s worst polluted cities. Shanghai, China’s most populous city – home to 24 million people – is also witnessing worsening air quality.

Asked whether Shanghai was ready to cooperate with India on green development, Fu said, “When it comes to environment protection, we must acknowledge that every city is different, with its own features and characteristics. The treatment of the environment must also take into consideration the specific needs of the city as well as the development requirements of the city. But I think the latest and advanced technologies and best practices can definitely be shared with India.”

While Delhi government has introduced schemes, such as odd-even initiative for private cars in Delhi, Shanghai is combating air pollution by creating more green spaces.

In 2015, Shanghai government managed to convert almost 25 square miles of the city into green areas.

Highlighting that Shanghai will continue its efforts towards environmental conservation in 2016 as well, Fu said, “Green development is the mainstream idea in development. We must ensure that the development is sustainable and environment friendly. We will continue to protect our environment, making sure that the development is sustainable while working towards conservation of our resources.”

The megalopolis plans to curb the number of vehicles, create more green spaces, and work with factories to reduce emissions.
In another novel effort, the Shanghai Environmental

Protection Bureau has earlier this year asked industries to formulate a green supply chain plan. The government will select and assist best practices at the end of 2016. The move aims to promote environmental sustainability among enterprises for green development.

Notably, green energy and climate change are areas where China can collaborate with India as the world looks for green alternatives to fossil fuels.

With India set to attain full membership of the six-member SCO alliance, it will further enable the country to cooperate with Central Asian countries and China in these areas.