Da Nang joins APEC Low Carbon Model Town project

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The Vietnam port city of Da Nang has joined the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation initiative) Low Carbon Model Town project – the third city to join the project, which was launched in 2011.

The other two participant cities are Yujiapu, a financial district on the outskirts of Tianjin in northeastern China, and Koh Samui, an island in the Gulf of Thailand.

The Low Carbon Model Town project was conceived in 2010 as part of APEC’s ‘Green Growth’ initiative, which envisages addressing climate change by promoting climate friendly, low carbon and energy efficient technologies. It was kickstarted with a JPY360 million (then US$3.9 million) donation from Japan.

Up to 20 cities in APEC member countries are expected to join the project, which is focused on the development of energy efficient power grids, transportation and buildings. Low carbon technologies that will be deployed include smart grids, renewable energies, electric vehicles, building energy management and energy efficiency, etc.

“Da Nang’s participation in the APEC Low Carbon Model Town project is an opportunity for Vietnam and the region to learn how to better manage our rising energy consumption based on consultant analysis and the implementation of best practices in urban planning,” said Pham Manh Thang, director general of Vietnam’s General Directorate of Energy.

APEC economies as a whole account for around 60% of global energy demand and are net energy importers. Their consumption of primary energy, which is all energy, including fuels, for electricity generation, is expected to grow by 40% between 2010 and 2035, according to the Asia-Pacific Energy Research Center.

The APEC-wide goal is to reduce energy intensity by 45% by 2035 compared to 2005. Member economies achieved a 7% improvement in primary energy intensity in the first six years to 2011, according to an analysis by Dr Ralph Samuelson, vice-president at the Asia-Pacific Energy Research Center.

Da Nang is also a pilot city in the World Bank’s Eco2Cities (Ecological Cities as Economic Cities) project, which is aimed to help cities in developing countries achieve greater ecological and economic sustainability.

APEC has 21 member countries around the Pacific in Asia, Australasia and the Americas.