University of Sydney academics were among a group of Australian sustainability experts who recently met in Guangzhou, China, to discuss how cities can harness the power of energy, water and infrastructure for significant climate action.
The Sydney-Guangzhou Sustainability Forum – curated by the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of New South Wales – featured Sydney academics presenting their research and discussing sustainability measures with local Chinese experts and government officials.
Professor Joe Dong from the University of Sydney's Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies and Associate Professor Willem Vervoort from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment were among the academics invited to present at the forum.
The forum was held as part of a four-day program of events led by the City of Sydney to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sydney-Guangzhou sister-city relationship.
"These world-leading educational institutions are not only great ambassadors for Sydney, their ground-breaking research and industry engagement mean they are able to share ideas that will help us build the environmentally sustainable cities that our planet needs," Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore said.
"Today's sustainability forum was a two-way exchange, with our experts also learning about the innovative research being carried out by their Chinese colleagues."
"Dangerous climate change is the greatest challenge our world faces. We need to share our experience, lessons and technical expertise. By showing leadership in our cities and working together, we will meet that challenge," the Lord Mayor said.
The University of Sydney’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) Professor Katherine Belov also attended the forum, and praised it as a vital opportunity to create a research agenda with a focus on bringing water, waste, energy, resources and researchers together.
"This is the best opportunity to share ideas and links across the academic industry on sustainability," Professor Belov said.
Sydney and Guangzhou share a history of environmental commitment to reduce carbon emissions and address the impacts of climate change.
Both cities are members of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), an international network of more than 80 global cities, representing over 500 million people and one-quarter of the global economy. C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks.