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China’s green growth in tandem with dynamically innovative vision: LSE economist

By Wang Yuan (People's Daily Overseas New Media)    10:54, March 26, 2019

Photo courtesy to China Development Forum 2019

China has already stepped into the spotlight in framing sustainable, green growth in tandem with technology and innovations, said Professor Nicholas Stern, a leading expert on economy and climate from the London School of Economics and Political Science, praising the nation’s achievement as remarkable.

“China has a vision of the way forward and has been on the way to be carbon-zero,” said Stern, also known as Baron Stern of Brentford, adding: “China has been transforming digital management into infrastructure in the cities, which are remarkable.”

More commonly addressed as Lord Stern, the professor is a household name in the climate change world. He was also a keynote speaker at the China Development Forum, an annual conference headed by China’s State Council at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing from Mar. 23 to 25.

China faces and recognizes such problems as air pollution, water pollution, and climate change, and the nation’s innovation and technology can be the key to combatting them.

“I think that China can now say, look, we’ve been doing this and we’ve been learning so much. We’ve been pushing this path quickly, which is very attractive,” Stern said in an interview with People’s Daily Overseas Social Media on the sidelines of the forum.

Another climate expert, Zou Ji, president of the Energy Foundation China, a charity organization dedicated to sustainable low-carbon development in China, also highlighted China\'s achievements in making cities livable in an interview with People\'s Daily Overseas Social Media.

“China now aims to drive clean energy goals by shifting its focus to green finance and electric vehicles, and to phase-out outdated production facilities in the coal industry,” Zou stressed.

Zou, a professor at the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Renmin University of China, pointed out that China has actively endeavored to advance these goals to meet the Paris Agreement targets; that is, to keep a global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial level and to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“China eyes to reduce the expanding industrialization and urbanization in order to promote carbon free economic growth,” Zou said.

In fact, China has reached its 2020 carbon emission target three years ahead of schedule. At the end of 2017, China had cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 46 percent from the 2005 level, fulfilling its commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 40 to 45 percent from the 2005 level by 2020, according to Xinhua.

The efficacy of Chinese experiences can be shared to countries along the Belt and Road, according to Stern.

“It seemed to me that, China plays a big part in helping policy change by sharing experience in how to do things in a much greener way. Discussion is there about how to do things in a much greener way. China can contribute to the discussion by sharing its experience and technology and as it offers to finance,” Stern continued.

“In large measure, China had created the opportunities as China has been the big part of the process of discovery. Belt and Road Initiative has become the opportunity to grow differently, to go on a clean way. And now we have discovered cheaper, more dynamic innovations. That’s the very important message,” he addressed.

Stern labeled a workable template in line with China’s green initiative, pointing out the possible plan for next stage development as leveraging further institutional reforms.

“There are many of the attractive investment we can make in the cities, which would be much more on the public transport, much less on private cars, and integrating for different parts. It is significant for China to combine the clever investment, digital management, and new forms of transport such as sharing cars,” he concluded. 

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(Web editor: Wang Yuan, Bianji)

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