Empowering Green and Low-Carbon Development: China (Hebei) – Canada Green and Low-carbon Development Forum

By: Yike Qin

A noteworthy international exchange on sustainability methodologies was held on August 25th, with a forum organized by FII China and the Hebei Provincial People’s Government Foreign Affairs Office (Hebei FAO). The “China (Hebei) – Canada Green and Low-carbon Development Forum” unfolded in Chengde City, Hebei Province, as a session of the 2023 China International Ecological Competitiveness Summit.

Bridging geographic boundaries under the theme of “Cultivating Green Ecology, Promoting Green Development,” this summit played an important role as a platform fostering dialogue and collaboration among global stakeholders. Distinguished figures from governmental bodies, corporations, academia, and research institutions came together to promote innovative ecological projects and international cooperation. Partners integral to Hebei’s regional vitality, including Hebei FAO and Hebei Urban-Rural and Housing Construction Department, united with central government counterparts like the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) and the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF). Moreover, the Canadian delegation included key entities such as the Commercial Section of the Canadian Embassy in China, the BC Office in China, Canada Wood China, and various Canadian enterprises dedicated to green building.

Forum host: Mr. Qin Yike, FII China
Opening remarks by Mr. Liang Guohui, Hebei FAO
Mr. Nicolas Osenton, Embassy of Canada to China

The central theme of the forum was the exploration of the potential benefits of wood construction for carbon mitigation efforts and the pursuit of green, low-carbon development. Thematic dialogues were divided into two sections: “Innovative Use of Sustainable Forest Products” and “Green and Low-carbon Industrial Cooperation.” The first section delved into climate-conscious forestry and grassland management, paralleled by the analysis of carbon mitigation approaches and the use of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) in the province of British Columbia. The targets of carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060 in China continues to drive interest for research and case studies of the application of wood in structural contexts, to fully understand environmental benefits. 

Selected Speakers introducing modern timber construction; Dr. Gong Yinchun, CAF; Mr. Qin Yike, FII China

During the second section, the discussion highlighted Canada’s prominence in the field of clean technology innovation, with B.C. hosting a substantial number of the leading clean technology firms in Canada. Within the realm of green construction, Canadian enterprises presented solutions rooted in decades of innovative green policies from municipal and provincial governments. Officials from Hebei noted that while the province is known for its energy-intensive industries, they are resolute in pursuing carbon reduction via clean technologies, especially in the construction sector.

This exchange has invigorated collaboration prospects in the realm of low-carbon and sustainable green construction methods. The forum highlighted opportunities for the carbon benefits of wood building materials to be recognized in provincial and municipal construction policies in Hebei, which will help grow the market in China for sustainably harvested higher-grade softwood lumber from Canada.