Chinese cities adopt low-carbon policies

15:47, July 07, 2010      

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As the low-carbon campaign is carried out in full swing across the country, the one-and-half-day long forum featuring environment changes and city responsibilities, an activity of Shanghai Expo, concluded in Nanjing on July 4.

In the face of industrialization and fast urbanization, Chinese cities are now working on cost-effective ways to protect the environment in a sustainable way based on previous experiences and national conditions while gaining more benefit and producing less emissions.

Green policies promote green recovery

On May 5, urban-rural Turpan model zone, the national new-energy model city, broke the ground. Turpan plans to change 8.8 square kilometers of barren land into a new green oasis in 10 years. The new Turpan zone will strive to adopt a low-carbon policy to build every plot of the land from urban planning, industrial presence, to architecture and design as well as energy use.

For example, electricity will be generated by PV power, heating and cooling will be provided through ground source heat pumps, and the architecture will adopt natural ventilation and natural light.

In the developed coastal areas of eastern China, the low-carbon campaign is represented more in building a livable environment inside the cities. According to the results of "Building a Monitoring and Index System for China's Livable Cities" project by Asian Development Bank, Chinese cities have maintained good growth momentum in the livability index in recent years. Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Shanghai and Lanzhou saw a growth of over 15 percent from 2000 to 2007. Among these cities, Guangzhou reported a growth margin of more than 45 percent.

China's green policies effectively stimulated growth, and realized green recovery on a more extensive scope nationwide. Addressing climate change and developing a low carbon economy have been included into the national economic and social development plan. On September 22, 2009, Hu Jintao, President of People's Republic of China, promised at the United Nations Climate Change Summit that China will continue to adopt effective measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 2020.

Zhou Shengxian, Minister of Environmental Protection, said China sets environmental protection as the basic national policy and takes sustainable development as a national strategy so that environmental protection can be transformed.

Green innovation activating green industry

In the Shanghai Expo Park, the Expo Center and Expo Axis adopt a river water source and a ground-source heat pump for cooling. Hundreds of automobiles provide transport service for the Expo and moreover the solar PV generation, the collection, processing as well as full use of rain water and sewage have also been employed.

"Shanghai has set an example of building a low-carbon city at the World Expo," said Zhang Guobao, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Behind these environment protection projects, which Zhang is delighted with, there is support for innovative technologies. These innovative technologies are subtly helping to adjust the cities industrial structure and economic development.

"The development of the city's low carbon methods has become a new platform for us to deal with climate change and promote sustainable urban development," said Zheng Guoguang, Party secretary and director of the China Meteorological Administration, at the forum.

Shanghai established a low carbon economic model site in Lingang New City and Chongming Island, promoting the integrated utilization of a low-carbon economy by constructing a low-carbon society, business district and industrial parks. Changzhou in Jiangsu province established a low-carbon demonstration area, and is striving to develop low carbon-based industries featuring energy conservation and emissions reduction, low pollution as well as low consumption.

They have already set up LED lighting, wind and solar energy and an electric vehicle industry. At the same time, Nanchang, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Shenyang, Sanya, Qingdao, Chongqing and Chengdu have all put forward suggestions and objectives for the development of a low-carbon city, and they have also made a firm position and a feasible plan according to their own practical situations.

The changes green innovation has brought to the environment are obvious. He Jiankun, director of the Low Carbon Energy Laboratory attached to Tsinghua University and vice director of the Expert Panel on Climate Change, said energy efficiency has improved and made tremendous achievements in term of energy consumption reduction. Unit product energy consumption for energy-intensive products has dropped by 1 to 2 percent every year, which is very rare in the world.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:张心意)

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