The British Consulate in China jointly hosted The Second International Sustainability Conference in Guangdong yesterday.
The conference was set up last year to bring together countries who are part of the Belt and Road Initiative to discuss ways to encourage economic, environmental and social development.
It comes at a time when an increasing number of political and business leaders are looking to alternative and sustainable forms of products and energy. At the beginning of October, the United Nations released a damning report on the realities of the impact that climate change is having on the world.
Representatives of high-profile companies from across the globe attended and gave talks at the event including HSBC, Huawei, Shenzhen Air, APG, and the Royal United Services Institute.
In his keynote speech, the Secretary of State for Wales, Rt Hon Mr. Alun Cairns said:
“The opportunities to harness technology in the pursuit of a sustainable world, including along the Belt and Road, are unprecedented: through efficient and sustainable water and energy usage; through better recycling; through research into new materials; through better understanding the costs and benefits of financial decisions from an environmental and social perspective; and through international partnerships with China that draw on UK strengths which are at the heart of our industrial strategy – strength in green finance, in cutting-edge research, in clean tech and in wider sustainability services.”
The inaugural conference followed a similar trend in identifying areas that the UK, and other members of the BRI, could engage with and implement the seventeen sustainable development goals as set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Representatives from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership also engaged in talks during the event. Cambridge has strong ties to China with numerous forums already established to foster stronger business relationships between the companies in the region and China.