Yonghua Song, a member of the Standing Committee of the China Association for Science and Technology and rector of the University of Macau (UM), recently gave a keynote speech titled ‘Building Carbon-neutral Energy Systems for Sustainable Smart Cities through International/Institutional Cooperation’ at an international forum with the theme ‘Engineering the Cities of the Future’ in Spain. In the speech, he used Macao as an example to discuss the characteristics and development trends of urban energy consumption and carbon emission structure.
Held in Madrid, Spain, the forum was part of the celebration activities for the World Engineering Day 2023. This year’s event was chaired by José Vieira, president of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations. A number of guests delivered keynote speeches at the event, including Yonghua Song, rector of UM; José Trigueros Rodrigo, president of the Institute of Engineering of Spain (Instituto de la Ingeniería de España); Fernando de Almeida Santos, president of the Order of Engineers in Portugal (Ordem dos Engenheiros); Salvador Landeros, president of the Pan American Union of Engineering Organizations (Unión Panamericana de Asociaciones de Ingenieros); Ralph Appel, president of the European Federation of National Engineering Associations; and Papias Kazawadi, president of the Federation of African Engineering Organisations. The guests exchanged ideas and had in-depth discussions on topics such as strengthening international exchange and cooperation in engineering, promoting the involvement of international engineering organisations in global governance, and engineering the cities for the future.
At the forum, Song first discussed the current state of global carbon emissions and the prospect of carbon neutrality from a macro perspective. According to him, cities are the main battleground for achieving the carbon neutrality target, and that global carbon emissions mainly come from the energy sector. He highlighted the technical principles and development trends of energy systems for smart cities, and used Macao as an example to analyse the characteristics and development trends of urban energy consumption and carbon emission structure, as well as explored several smart technical paths to achieve carbon neutrality in urban energy systems. Song also emphasised that UM plays an important role in bridging the gap between China and Portuguese-speaking countries in strengthening technical cooperation on carbon neutrality, adding that while achieving carbon neutrality requires the concerted efforts of all human beings, the role of engineers is indispensable.
The World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) was established in 1968 under the initiative and support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with its headquarters in Paris. After more than 50 years of development, members of the organisation cover more than 100 countries and relevant international organisations. In 1981, the China Association for Science and Technology officially joined this organisation representing China. At the initiative of WFEO, UNESCO designated 4 March each year as the World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development (‘World Engineering Day’) in 2019 to raise public awareness of the important role of engineering and engineers in sustainable development.