Christiana Figueres, an expert on global climate change, will be the keynote speaker of the “Green Forum” at the 2018 Macao International Environmental Co-operation Forum and Exhibition (2018MIECF). The event, organized by the government, will be held from April 12 to 14, with the theme “Shaping of Eco-Cities for Inclusive Green Economy”.
Figueres is the current Vice-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2010 to 2016. She has also served as Director of Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA), and in 1995 founded the non-profit Center for Sustainable Development in the Americas (CSDA), which she directed for eight years.
Figueres’ keynote speech will direct the discussion towards the concept of cities being the key for the future development of the earth. According to a statement issued yesterday, there were two main reasons for the topic choice: in her view, three-quarters of the global population will be living in urban areas over the next 20 years, and cities are the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in various regions of the world.
Figueres will also share her insight into the challenges related to global climate change, highlighting the fact that if the environmental impact of urban growth is ignored, cities will be the source of approximately 80 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions in the future. Cities face numerous challenges including continuous population growth, higher carbon footprint, air pollution, insufficient transportation and infrastructure, and food safety risk. Despite these challenges, Figueres believes the opportunities for change could lead to great improvements. In her speech, she will argue that about 60 percent of urban infrastructure is yet to be built, which indicates an opportunity to make cities more sustainable, liveable and economical.