China's long green march. A study of renewable energy. environmental industry and cement sectors

Nov 2013

In the past 20 years, China’s economy has increased tenfold. This growth has lifted 660 million people out of extreme poverty. However, it has had an environmental cost. China is the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, more than 90 per cent of its urban water bodies are thought to be polluted and outdoor air pollution is estimated to contribute to over a million premature deaths per year in China.
The Chinese government recognizes that in order to sustain its economic growth without further damaging the environment, it must change its policies. The government made impressive efforts in a transition towards a green economy under the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-20010), and its strategies under the 12th Five-Year Plan are even more ambitious. As this study identifies, China is making significant progress in developing renewable energy technologies, greening industry, and promoting the environmental goods and services sector. These activities are creating jobs, economic growth and improved well-being for citizens. However, many challenges still persist, such as fossil fuel reliance, inadequate enforcement of environmental regulations and misplaced incentives.
This report was conducted in cooperation with the Policy Research Centre for Environment and Economy, a subsidiary of the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection. It examines five sectors – solar, wind, biofuels, cement and environmental industry - providing information on recent progress and policies that are driving green development in these industries. The report also underscores some remaining issues and puts forward recommendations on how to overcome them.
“China’s Long Green March” provides the opportunity to firmly anchor the environmental dimensions of sustainable development into the social and economic agenda of the country, and pave the way for further in-depth assessment to illustrate how a transition towards an inclusive green economy can accelerate the attainment of national development goals in China.


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