President and COO of the International Herald Tribune
One Sunday earlier this year, Ray Li climbed into a Porsche 911 sports car and sped off in pursuit of a trophy, driving on the world’s most expensive Formula One raceway: The Shanghai International Circuit.
Li, heads an Asian consumer banking unit at Barclays and what he said was this: ‘If I could drive around this track ……..as fast as Shanghai is growing, I’d be crowned the champion’
Ladies and Gentlemen, that was the first paragraph of a story that appeared in the International Herald Tribune earlier this year and, I think you all would agree, this quotation really does evoke the speed of growth of today’s Shanghai.
It is my great pleasure to be here for the third time at the Shanghai World Expo Forum,
to be amongst friends,
to join in handing the baton to Shanghai World Expo 2010,
and to enjoy the relationship that we have developed with our Shanghai colleagues for some years now.
In looking at the role of international media in promoting sustainable development, I shall draw from the archives of my own newspaper the International Herald Tribune.
Because, after all, the IHT prides itself on informing the world community, in all its constituencies, about the health of nations, their cities, their people, – both the good and the bad – in order to foster knowledge; knowledge that is necessary to operate in a globally-connected world.
How much is reported in the IHT about sustainable development? Well just to give you an idea, I searched our archives for the word “urbanization” and found hundreds of articles. Of course, not every article is about Shanghai or about China, but the issues of urbanization and sustainable development are not unique to any given city and we can all benefit from the experience of others.
Let me begin with a macro view: In April this year, the IHT published an article entitled: “As China meets India, hints of a global shift” It said, and I quote: “Perhaps for the first time, there is an expectation that both China and India, together representing one third of humanity, are coming into their own at the same moment, with the potential for a dynamic shift in the world’s politics and economy.” (unquote)
That is a powerful statement.
And the sub-text of that statement, its underlying implication, is all about sustainable development. It is about energy. It is about water. It is about infrastructure, transport, food, disease control, urbanization.
And it is about security.
But the first requirement of the sustainable development food-chain, is energy – without it, how can there be electricity, clean water, waste management, transportation, in other words, all the essential ingredients for sustainable development that are needed, long before one thinks about nice parks, housing developments, and green areas.