June 2010

The Climate Group calls on cities and companies to partner on SMART 2020 cities and regions initiative

  • Cisco’s Connected Urban Development R&D program formally becomes a SMART 2020 initiative of The Climate Group
  • SMART 2020 initiative aims to match leading cities with leading corporations to deliver 10 smart tech pilot projects by 2012
  • SMART 2020 projects will address regulatory, financial and policy challenges to support scale-up
  • The first new projects will be announced during Climate Week NYC in New York in September

Read the full press release.

SHANGHAI, 16 June 2010 – Cisco and international non-governmental organization The Climate Group convened some of the world’s leading cities in China today to expand their landmark network of smart cities, states and regions in a bid to reverse growing levels of urban greenhouse gas pollution.

Cities are currently responsible for two-thirds of global energy use and more than 70 per cent of green house gas emissions, according to most estimates. This looks set to grow, as the percentage of the global population living in urban areas is predicted to grow from 50% currently, to 59% by 2030.

At the Shanghai Expo, Cisco officially handed over management of its successful Connected Urban Development initiative to The Climate Group, an arrangement announced last year. There was a call from all parties for innovative partnership proposals to advance a series of state-of-the-art trials of smart low carbon technologies that will significantly cut urban carbon emissions.

The Climate Group will build on Cisco’s leadership of Connected Urban Development by working through its own existing network of cities, states and regions and leading corporations across the banking, electronics, systems integration, IT, telecommunications, planning and energy services sectors to demonstrate solutions in transformational technical areas such as smart connected buildings, smart transportation and smart grid.

Steve Howard, CEO, The Climate Group: “Urban emissions are changing our planet. Already more than half the world’s population lives in cities, where there is a burning opportunity for governments and companies to benefit their economies and urban environments by taking action to reduce emissions.  Already we’re seeing leading companies, cities and regions responding to this opportunity and look forward to helping them work more closely together to scale up the solutions.”

John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco: “We are proud of the achievements of the Connected Urban Development initiative, which has demonstrated that network technology can enable sustainable solutions in urban environments. Cisco, a committed partner with cities around the world, is leading the way in the progression to Smart+Connected Communities. We are pleased The Climate Group will drive the next phase of this work, to broaden the alliance to a wide network of urban innovators. We encourage other technology partners to join this Smart 2020 vision to illustrate how technology is a fundamental driver to sustainable communities.”

Cisco has a long track record of working in cities, including San Francisco, Seoul, Amsterdam, Madrid, Hamburg, Birmingham and Lisbon.  The Climate Group is working in Hong Kong, Shanghai, London, New York and Mumbai under the $100m HSBC Climate Partnership.

Stephen Green, Group Chairman, HSBC: “Cities are critical to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and building the low carbon economy. That is why we support The Climate Group’s work in some of the world’s great cities through the HSBC Climate Partnership. We are pleased that The Climate Group and Cisco are working together to develop innovative information technologies in urban centres.”

Recognizing the imperative for action, Metropolis, the World Association of Major Metropolises representing more than 100 cities across the world, announced its support for the next phase of the initiative.

Josep Roig, Secretary General, Metropolis: “Our members have seen the benefit in partnering with Cisco on climate change and we look forward to working with The Climate Group to advance ‘smart’ action across global cities.  Climate change is an issue of concern for all big cities and metropolitan areas and we will continue to open our forum to discussions on how best to mitigate our impacts.”

The Climate Group will take this work forward under their SMART 2020 program, building on groundbreaking research released in 2008 that identified that information and communications technologies (ICT) could cut global emissions by 15% by 2020.

Cities will meet with technology companies tomorrow at a ‘Partnership for Urban Innovation’ conference hosted jointly by The Climate Group, Cisco and Metropolis to share ideas and formulate potential projects.

Participants in the conference and The Climate Group’s members said the following:

Volker Buscher, Director, Arup: “To meet our emission targets we need to show individuals the role they can play and the executive if they are making progress in dealing with climate change objectives.  This requires real information, excellent user interfaces and smart instrumentation.  ICT is key in delivering the knowledge we need to compete in the ecological age.”

Stan Gale, Chairman, Gale International: “We’re working with Cisco in Songdo IBD, a 1,500 acre smart, sustainable city in South Korea.  Starting from scratch, we have a unique opportunity to implement and measure the full impact of new approaches to smart city development and operations.  We expect to feed these learnings into The Climate Group’s new SMART 2020 platform to help existing and future cities become more sustainable.”

Rod Leaver, CEO Australia, Lend Lease: "A better life is not possible without better cities; and achieving this common goal, faster than would otherwise be possible, requires new partnerships between government, non-government organisations and business. Lend Lease continues to work with leaders, including The Climate Group, to deliver next generation smart cities showcased at World Expo - Shanghai 2010."

Dan Hoornweg, Lead Urban Specialist, Cities and Climate change, World Bank: “Both financing and credible information are key to scaling up low carbon  solutions.  We appreciate the open dialogue that The Climate Group, Cisco and others are calling for and particularly welcome their encouragement to use a common GHG emission standard for cities, which is now being rolled out as part of the benchmarking for smart cities.”

Chris Vein, CIO, San Francisco: “The Shanghai Expo is a test-bed for urban and architectural design. In the same way this important coalition of cities and cleantech partners must create a new vision of the future and act together as laboratories for innovative low carbon development.”

Hon Mike Rann MP, Premier of South Australia: “Through engagement with leading businesses, the Government of South Australia and The Climate Group are identifying exciting collaborative opportunities to demonstrate the Smart City vision in Australia.  By sharing our efforts globally through the Smart 2020 platform we can accelerate emissions reductions with solutions that work.”

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