Committed to Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for All

In Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC

The Sixth Global Forum on Human Settlements

Building Low-Carbon Cities: A Response to Climate Change

New York 7-8 April 2011

Hosted by the Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS) and co-organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme and the World Bank, the Sixth Session of the Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS VI 2011) was grandly held at the headquarters of the United Nations and the UN Plaza in New York on 7 and 8 April 2011.


GFHS VI is the first international thematic pageant focusing on low-carbon cities after the 16th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun (COP16). UN Under-Secretary-General Cheick Diarra, former Chairman of the UN Security Council and UN Under-Secretary-General, Ambassador Anwarul K Chowdhury, UN Assistant Secretary General and UN Commissioner General of Shanghai Expo Dr. Awni Behnam, Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch, UNEP, Arab Hoballah and some other senior officials attended the forum. Some 200 participants attended the forum and over 40 of made keynote speeches or had in-depth discussions.

At the forum advanced ideas, innovative technologies and best practices of low-carbon city building from many countries all over the world were shared and exchanged. Meanwhile, the latest achievements of the United Nations and World Bank’s standard systems, such as the “International Standard for Determining Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Cities” and the “Sustainable Building Index” were released. Board of Directors of GFHS announced the proposal of International Green Model City (IGMC) Project, it’ll be the first pilot project in China and other developing countries to test, popularize and innovate low-carbon city standard, and build a low-carbon model city in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme; the forum also published the New York Declaration on Building Low-Carbon Cities in Response to Climate Change, so as to push the international community to raise the awareness, to take action in response to climate change. Permanent representatives to the UN from Sweden, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Mali and Bangladesh, representing ambassadors and high representatives of over 100 countries were present at the forum and offered congratulations. Mayors of New York, San Francisco, West Vancouver and other cities of different countries attend the forum. Representatives from government departments and international organizations, city mayors, entrepreneurs, and relevant experts attended the forum. Over 70 Chinese officials, enterprisers, experts and scholars being invited to attend the forum and shared the information about Chinese people’ s endeavors, practices and innovations in responding to climate change and in low-carbon city building and they were being highly spoken by the forum participants.

West Vancouver and other 3 cities were awarded the honor of “Global Green City”, and other outstanding human settlements, scenic spots, low-carbon technologies and individuals were also commended, and Chinese children representatives of environmental protection were honored as “Global Little Green Ambassador”, so as to motivate the whole society to pay attention to education, to start from early childhood and take an active part in low-carbon campaign.

The forum attracted the attention of dozens of media both at home and abroad, China Central Television (CCTV), Xinhua News Agency, South-South News, and dozen other media covered the event at the earliest hour. The success of the forum exerted positive and lasting influences worldwide on building low-carbon cities and responding to climate change. As a high-level dialogue platform for global human settlements, GFHS has been striving to extend the UN Agenda to local governments and private sector to improve the quality of human life, and the forum showcased its leadership in the international community with its practical action in support of the United Nations with its brand new height.