Next door to the UN COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, mayors from green city innovators Copenhagen and Vancouver lined up with leading companies on Saturday to launch a new City Solutions Platform. The initiative, which is organised by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, has been established to promote more public-private partnerships in the fight against climate challenges.
Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, kicked off the panel debate at the La Galerie exhibition center by emphasising the importance of continuous knowledge sharing between city leaders, planners and companies.
“It is key for Copenhagen to share our solutions with other cities, planners and corporations in the cleantech sector. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel again and again, because we know what works, and the technology is available”.
Public support to green start-ups
Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, explained how the city is supporting local entrepreneurs and start-ups within clean technology and the digital sector in their efforts to develop green solutions.
“We’re running the Green & Digital Demonstration Program where we are looking to fund significant pilot projects and ideas at local scale. By being able to scale it up to other cities, we hope to grow businesses from their base in Vancouver. I´m looking forward to seeing some of these ideas being put to use around the world, and together with Copenhagen, we’re proving that cities and companies can truly make a difference in fighting climate change and creating green jobs all over.”
Horizontal and vertical collaboration
Research institutions and businesses such as RTI, Alterra Power Corp., Danfoss, Grundfos and Ramboll also participated at the event, which was co-hosted by State of Green and C40 at the Danish Pavilion. Neel Strøbæk, Group Market Director at Ramboll, believes that urban planning is one of the key answers: “Being able to combine competencies from many different sectors into a common plan can inspire people to create a much better environment as we have seen in Copenhagen and Vancouver. We must tear down the silos in city governments but also encourage more vertical involvement to build in smaller start-up innovations in our integrated solutions”.