China Places Low-Carbon Growth, Green Development & Ecological Security At Front of Next Five-Year Plan

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photo: hsueh888tw/Creative Commons

One quarter of its wind power may not be actually connected to the grid, but that doesn't mean China's green ambitions aren't genuine--at least as the nation's twelfth five-year plan has it. China Dialogue points out that building a low-carbon economy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and green development are front and center.

The 12th FYP is the first for which the theme will be green development. Again, a point will be made of the need to "construct a resource-conserving and environmentally friendly society". The plan will explicitly say that, faced with ever-stronger environmental and resource constraints, China must increase its sense of urgency and establish concepts of green and low-carbon development. With a focus on energy-saving and emission-reduction, it must introduce incentives and disincentives to help promote resource conservation and green production and consumption.

The green development strategy has six supporting pillars, each with its own section in the plan: actively responding to climate change; strengthening conservation and management of resources; developing the "circular economy"; enhancing environmental protection; promoting ecological protection and restoration; and strengthening systems for water management and disaster prevention and alleviation.

Furthermore, the 12th FYP mentions an "ecological security" strategy, wherein for areas where development is limited or banned, green buffer zones will be established and ecological protection "rigorously enforced".

We'll have to wait and see how well this is implemented. There are few nations where there isn't a significant gap between environmentally-friendly rhetoric and environmentally-friendly action and China's clearly no exception. That said, lots of good stuff here.

Read more: China's 12th Five-Year Plan: the new global green revolution
More on China & The Environment:
One Quarter of China's Wind Power Still Not Connected to Electricity Grid
China's Closing 31 Gigawatts of Coal Power Plants!
Why China's Environmental Laws Have Been Useless in Stopping Pollution

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