Meet the incredible people behind the work we do at C40 Cities

What motivated you to work in the climate space, and how did you become involved with C40?

My academic background is in humanities and social sciences. This may not be obviously linked with climate action, but I believe that my passion for humanity’s future development and interest in the balance between humankind and the environment strongly influenced my career pursuits.

I am glad to say the climate space is very inclusive. Before C40, I worked for the Chinese government on environmental protection and international cooperation. This experience provided the fundamentals for me to work in the climate space. However, this experience of working with a high-level government also enabled me to understand that cities are at the frontline of implementation and innovation. From there, I joined C40, as I wanted to contribute directly and make a difference.

Bo and C40 colleagues at the 2023 Climate Finance Academy in Beijing

What’s an accomplishment that you are proud of in your work with C40?

I am proud that our knowledge and experience in developing city-level climate adaptation through the Climate Action Plan programme have been acknowledged and accepted by the Chinese government, as this will positively influence hundreds of Chinese cities.

As mandated by the National Climate Adaptation Strategy 2035, The Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China is now leading a national programme to recruit a batch of climate adaptation pilot cities. The pilot cities will explore ways of building and managing cities to adapt to climate change in various conditions. Once the programme is completed, experiences and best practices will be shared with cities all around the nation.

I am personally involved in the successful completion of Climate Action Plans in eight Chinese cities. Methodologies and tools from C40 were used to help cities identify climate risks and set adaptation targets and actions. This achievement has brought appreciation and acknowledgement from the national government. I have engaged in communications with the authorities, and led projects to localise and embed C40 knowledge and experience into the national guidelines; this is expected to impact hundreds of cities in China in the next two years.

What upcoming initiatives is C40 working on that you are excited about?

I am excited about the recently launched Water Safe Cities Accelerator, which will be a feature of C40’s work at COP28.

Bo and Fuzhou & Shenzhen delegates at the Water Safe Cities Accelerator Workshop in Rotterdam

As major findings in climate action plans show, Chinese cities are at risk from the impacts of climate breakdown, especially urban flooding. To address these challenges, C40 mayors are leading by taking action to transform cities and safeguard their communities against risks relating to water. Cities are implementing impactful solutions and collaborating with partners from public, private and civil society organisations to raise ambition and help speed up the implementation of climate-resilient solutions. Chinese cities have already expressed interest in joining the Accelerator and related networks. Together, C40 and cities will accelerate high-impact action and create water-safe cities for all residents.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?

I find myself most rested or energised by exploring and seeking out new experiences. I also have the great opportunity of living and working between Beijing and Shenzhen, and these two cities provide many natural, cultural and creative spaces and activities for me to explore.

For example, I have participated in city walks, drone camera photography online courses on fields that I am interested in, and a CrossFit challenge tournament. Such activities allow me to relax, and often, the new experiences provide me with new perspectives on the relationship between humans and technology, citizens and the city, mankind and nature.

World Sustainable Transport Day is on 26 November. What are your hopes and dreams for the future of transport across Central East Asia and the rest of the world?

I definitely want to see further cooperation between cities in China and cities in our region, as well as the rest of the world. It is well acknowledged that Chinese cities are advancing in green and clean transportation. Cities are investing in green transport infrastructure, promoting technological innovation, expanding electric vehicle access and use, upgrading regulatory systems and pioneering the development of green ports and carriage corridors. I hope through communication and cooperation, there will soon be a green, clean, efficient, and safe transport system in Central East Asia and across the world.

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