Report: Understanding China’s new low carbon growth plan

Reading time: 3 minutes
3 March 2014

BEIJING: Today China’s important yearly political consultation begins, followed by the annual parliamentary sessions starting on March 5, known as Lianghui. Timed to coincide with these sessions, The Climate Group has published a new briefing that interprets outcomes from China’s leaders’ last conference, the Third Plenary, which will shape the week’s discussions--where a specific implementation plan will be presented.

Over the past three decades, China has experienced unprecedented growth. GDP has increased from ~US$59 billion in 1978 to ~US$9.4 trillion, making it the world’s second largest economy.

But today China is confronted with complicated challenges. Among these, rapid growth has caused domestic environmental pollution and driven massive consumption of resources. As a result, economic development has been restricted by domestic resource and environmental capacity, and people’s lives and health have been severely affected.

Our new briefing, Eco-civilization: China's blueprint for a new era, provides international readers with an overview of key policy guidelines and priorities the country’s new leadership will adopt in the face of these challenges. In particular, we focus on the government's pioneering low carbon ‘eco-civilization’ concept, which will have a huge impact on China’s future economy.

This is the first time that eco-civilization has been elevated to such a high-level, not only in parallel with, but also cutting across economic, political, cultural, and social systems.

Key messages from the briefing include:

  • The meeting held last November, of China’s powerful 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China produced a set of outcomes that, if fully implemented, could have a profound impact on China’s economic and environmental future.
  • China has now reached a point where major reform is needed to deal with the economic, environmental and social problems created by the economic model that has delivered its spectacular economic growth of the past 30 years.
  • Implementing the government’s ‘eco-civilization’ concept as a cross-cutting element in all areas of reform will be a key part of how China addresses many of its problems.
  • A range of policy announcements over the past year underline that the government is already moving to address many critical challenges with a focus on resource conservation, renewable energy development, environmental protection and economic openness.

A more in-depth analysis is planned on the precise approaches and policies for China’s comprehensive reforming plan, following the Lianghui.

Read the briefing now

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