Brief – 25 July, 2010 – Members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum have agreed to embark on a project to create up to 20 low-carbon model cities using energy-efficient technologies including smart grids and renewable power generation.

Announced at APEC’s forum meeting in Japan 19 June, the 21-member body will set up a task force to choose cities for the Low-Carbon Model Town Project within the next three years. Japan’s trade minister said after the forum that Tianjin, in north-eastern China, is likely to become the first city picked for the project, with Vietnam and Indonesia also expressing interest in participating.

The model cities will build infrastructure, including housing and transportation networks, by using various technologies to curb greenhouse gas emissions. For example, a smart grid can tap into renewable energy sources such as solar and geothermal power, and rules may be introduced to require homes to use advanced insulating materials and energy-efficient appliances.