GreenCape is a cluster member of the International Cleantech Network (ICN). The ICN has partnered with the Solar Impulse Foundation this year to promote a global sign-up drive for the SIF 1 000 efficient solutions label, a showcase of cleantech solutions that can safeguard the environment in a financially profitable way.
To further build on these international networks, ICN and SIF are hosting a Clean Conversations webinar series during June. The focus of this series is three-fold: Clean Recovery, Clean Procurement and Clean Investment.
The second episode of the series was hosted on 10 June 2020. The focus was on the international cities engaged in cleantech solutions. The session was moderated by Denis Leclerc (President and CEO of Ecotech Québec). The panellists were Bertrand Piccard (Chairman, Solar Impulse Foundation), Henrik Bjørnager (CLEAN Internation, Denmark), Pelle Lind Bourninville (Realdania, Denmark), Lance Greyling (Enterprise & Investment, South Africa) and Councillor Barney Crockett (President of the World Energy Cities Partnership, Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Scotland (UK).
The panellists shared their thoughts on how cities need to to ensure that there is a sustainable, resilient and innovative recovery from the covid-19 shock. The economic and environmental role of cities play a significant role in sustainable development: "We cannot achieve the green recovery unless we interrogate the role of cities in this crisis. Covid-19 has certainly been a jolt to the system, interrupting many of our activities and way of our working together," said Pelle Lind Bournonville. "Take Copenhagen as a good example; we are not only creating initiatives that drive urban city change in a sustainable direction but also drives the opportunity for some of the most vulnerable of our citizens,” he added.
CLEAN International has been working extensively with cities in partnerships and consultations to develop programmes that are relevant to the current situation. "With a Danish focus, we have involved our cities in a network that enables our smaller companies to get a larger footprint, with access to partners and opportunities globally,” said Henrik Bjørnager. "This Covid-19 situation should be seen as a basis for change, where we drive a climate-safe and inclusive world," he added.
According to Bertrand Piccard, the partnership between ICN and the SIF is important because of the 1 000 solutions that are already efficient and financially profitable solutions identified for cities. The work that is done in cities like Paris and Brussel is a point of reference.
Another interesting leverage that cities have, is public procurement. If the public procurement of a city is only based on the short term profit, it will be insufficient to drive a green recovery. The Department of Enterprise and Investment in the City of Cape Town is focused on making sure that a diverse economic mandate is fulfilled, in gearing for a green economic recovery. “We want to be the green hub of Africa, where we are producing new ideas and manufacturing new technologies to fast-track the green economy revolution,” said Lance Greyling.
According to Councillor Barney Crockett, energy transformation is key in the fight against covid-19. "We are fortunate enough to be working with many cities, and as President of the World Energy Cities Partnership I have seen many cities adapting to transform their energy environment," he said, also highlighting the importance of international partnerships.
This article was originally posted on GreenCape. See original post.