China is using a number of different tools to shift to a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy and achieve its sustainable development goals.
The environmental dimension of China’s 13th five-year plan sets ambitious targets for 2020. Water consumption is targeted a drop of 23%, with targets drops of 15% for energy consumption and cuts to CO2 emissions of 18%.
China’s is aiming for 23% forest coverage and for good air quality in cities for 80% of the year.
The stated goal is to establish a Chinese “eco-civilization” – in other words a resource-saving, environmentally-friendly society with a balanced ecological footprint with a vibrant economy and culture.
China has already made a number of notable achievements. The country has built over 10billion m2 of energy-saving buildings in its burgeoning cities – accounting for roughly 38 per cent of the total area of urban residential buildings.
Meanwhile the Asian tiger’s production of new-energy vehicles increased more than 45 times between 2011 and 2015. The country has also built the largest air-quality monitoring network in the developing world – 338 Chinese cities can effectively monitor six different air quality indicators. The country has also lowered energy consumption per unit of GDP and the amount of CO2 released per unit of GDP.
In line with plans to build an eco-civilization, China will consolidate these successes by;
• Limiting total primary energy consumption to 4.8 billion tonnes by 2020
• Increasing the share of non-fossil fuel energy by up to 15 per cent
• Cutting the share of coal consumption to 62 per cent by 2020
• Reaching peak CO2 emissions by 2030
• Building a green circular manufacturing system that is efficient, clean and low carbon