In an interview with China Daily, she said well-laid urbanization plans can prove essential to sound development.
But, “just because (development is) green doesn’t mean it cannot be fast,” Cox said.
“If you look at some of the technologies China is currently producing, for example, solar panels or biogas projects that are producing energy at lower costs for residents, it is smart economics,” she said on Tuesday.
The demand for energy, and the price of it, is increasing throughout the world, she added. Amid those circumstances, technology that uses energy more efficiently will not only help China spend less on energy but also give it business and export opportunities.
“As China moves out of lower-end export goods, such as clothes and shoes, the country can now export more technologically advanced goods,” Cox said.
“Meanwhile, the lower energy costs paid by citizens can also free up new purchasing power for more consumer goods. So, actually, green growth can be great growth.
“People tend to think that green growth is no growth because green means trying to save as much energy as possible. But actually, what you are trying to do is to use the energy in a smarter way.”
In April, the World Bank forecast that China’s economy will grow by 8.2 percent this year. Many institutional analysts, in contrast, made gloomier predictions about the economy after they had seen GDP grow at a rate of 7.6 percent in the second quarter, a three-year low.
Various investment projects are now being planned or are in progress as a way to accelerate the slowing economy.
Many experts say they doubt those projects will detract from the country’s commitment to achieve growth in a more efficient manner.
The goals, as stated in the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), call for reducing the country’s carbon intensity, or its emissions of carbon for each unit of its GDP, by 17 percent by the end of 2015.
In a recent report, the World Bank said urbanization will help China meet that goal.
“Cities are politically, financially, and administratively organized to act quickly and to realize the national policy goals, as they have been driving the economic transformation in the last three decades,” the report said.
“The urban areas can be more innovative, more creative and, potentially, more efficient in terms of resources use, but only if you have done it well,” Cox said.
“Few cities are planned and operated in a perfect way. A lot of cities in the world have to adapt to new progress in a changing economy and world. The key is to start with an integrated approach.”
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Is China really leading the way in respect to its air pollution? Comments below or at twitter.com/#!/LearnFromNature
China has set a goal of reducing its major pollutant emissions by more than 30 to 40percent by 2015 in its latest 12th Five-Year Plan (2010-2015) for environment protection, according to a Wednesday report in the People’s Daily newspaper.
Compared with the 11th five-year plan, more indicators, greater pressure, stricter requirements and much higher investment needs are featured in China’s latest environmental protection outline,issued by the State Council,or China’s Cabinet, an unnamed official with the Ministry ofEnvironmental Protection said in the report.
The outline specifies 7 major indicators, with ammonia nitrogen and nitric oxide added as two new indicators, the official said. The plan calls for ammonia nitrogen and nitric oxide emissions to becut by 10 percent by 2015, while chemical oxygen demand (COD) and sulfur dioxide emissionsshould drop by 8 percent, the report said.
COD and sulfur dioxide emissions dropped by 12.45 percent and 14.29 percent, respectively, from2005 to 2010.
The five-year outline also calls for an investment of 3.4 trillion yuan ($539 billion) in environmental protection efforts, or 1.4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product during the period, theofficial was quoted as saying.
Eight major projects, including reducing major pollutant emissions and resolving environmental problems that affect people’s health, will require a investment of nearly 1.5 trillion yuan, the officialsaid.
Increasing the number of pollution control indicators, expanding pollution control regions and reinforcing restrictions on total pollution volume in large industries will be effective ways to reducemajor pollutant emissions, the official said in the report.
He said the number of major cities covered by China’s air quality index system has expanded from113 to 333, with stricter assessment standards established as well.
On Saturday, Beijing‘s environmental authority began to use the PM2.5 air quality measurement standard to provide more precise air quality monitoring results.
The official said the measurement standard will also be adopted in all major areas of the country,including the Yangtze River Delta, Zhujiang River Delta and the neighboring cities of Chengdu andChongqing for better prevention and control of air pollution.
The outline also includes nuclear waste, heavy metals and dangerous chemicals as materials that should be focused on in terms of eliminating environmental risks, the official said.
The outline states that local governments should shoulder most of the responsibilities in financing and implementing the five-year plan, with midterm and final evaluations to be conducted in 2013and 2015, respectively, the report said.
Evaluation results will be taken into account when assessing the overall work of local governments, according to the report.
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With its abundant biomass and organic waste resources…. China has the potential to replace 1 billion tons of coal, which is one-third of its current consumption, with biomass-based energy. A ‘China Daily’ columnist explains…
China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) shows that it wants to become the world’s future green superpower. The implementation of ambitious ecological policy targets will contribute to the overarching goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level.
The targets include increasing the amount of non-fossil energy by 15 percent, saving energy in buildings, increasing energy efficiency in transportation and industry, preventing environmental pollution from urban, agricultural and industrial sources, and extending the principle of circular economy in energy and material management.
With its still very low average ecological footprint of about 2 acres for one person’s sustenance, China is in a good starting position compared to the United States, which has an average of 24 acres. But the tendency to copy the “American way of life” with its potential social and ecological disadvantages is strong among Chinese people, a path they have to steer clear of.
Given its huge area and population, and its enormous geographical, cultural and social diversity, China faces massive ecological problems. The country is already feeling the impact of climate change. The potential threats emerging from a changing environment and overstrained ecological systems include flooding, eutrophication, melting glaciers, shortage of drinking and irrigation water, reduced biodiversity, destructed landscapes, soil degradation, loss of arable land, desertification and land contamination.
One thing needed to solve all these problems and develop a proactive public contributing behavior is awareness among the people. China is the only country that has been controlling its population growth for three decades and thus contributing to global stability. Chinese people recycle secondary row materials and save resources extensively, even if to save money.
But there is more that they can do. For instance, they can redesign industrial processes to avoid waste generation and reduce pollution, and better integrate material and energy resources among different industrial sectors. Chinese households have to separate their waste at source, something that people in many European countries do. More integrated ecological network thinking is needed to understand why, for example, simply separating biodegradable waste in households is a valuable contribution to energy security, environmental protection and reducing greenhouse gas emission.
With its abundant biomass and organic waste resources, ranked highest in the world, China has the potential to replace 1 billion tons of coal, which is one-third of its current consumption, with biomass-based energy. The latest comparable figure in Germany is 23 percent of primary energy generated from biomass in 2050.
China with cooperation with major nations are aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels…. China Daily reports. The cities will then help the country meet its binding targets for energy efficiency and environmental protection.
BEIJING – A loud bang on a gong by former British prime minister Tony Blair and several other people signaled the start of a partnership on Monday between the Climate Group — an international climate action organization — and five Chinese cities that aims to blaze a new trail for low carbon development during the coming three years.
With more than 100 cities with a population of more than one million, China’s cities are at the forefront of the fight against global climate change, said Mark Kenber, CEO of the Climate Group, at the launch of the “China Redesign” program.
It’s urgent for cities to “switch from the old-style way of doing business to a new way, placing an emphasis on clean energy, energy efficiency, innovation, pioneering and new technology,” Kenber said.
Under the program, the Climate Group will work with the five cities, businesses, financial institutions and experts to develop and implement sustainable urban development strategies tailored to their different needs and introduce clean technologies.
The goal is to help the cities cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. The cities will then help the country meet its binding targets for energy efficiency and environmental protection.
China has pledged to reduce energy intensity per unit of GDP by 16 percent and cut carbon intensity by 17 percent from its 2010 levels during the next five years.
“It’s unprecedented that we set the reduction of carbon dioxide emission as a binding target in our 12th Five-Year Plan,” said Jiang Zhaoli, an official from the National Development and Reform Commission.
The Chinese government and its people will take concrete action to realize this promise made in front of the international community, Jiang said.
Also under the program, 10 experimental projects will be carried out in the five cities to find practical solutions in renewable energy, sustainable transport, green building construction, energy management and green industrialization.
While facing challenges because of the increasing demand for energy, some provincial and city governments have supported low carbon economies.
Guiyang city, capital of Guizhou province, relies heavily on fossil fuels to power its economic development and coal still accounts for 65 percent of its energy consumption, he said.
“However, we can neither follow the same development path as developed countries nor copy the development model in coastal regions,” Ma said.
Guiyang has enjoyed some positive changes from the low carbon development pattern it has followed since 2000, seeing more tourists and more blue sky days.