China Redesign


Asia and the Pacific is the fastest growing economic region in the world. Yet unsustainable growth, population increase, increased consumption and urbanization are challenging the region’s sustainable development.

The region is expected to contribute approximately 45% of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and an estimated 60% by 2100. Without significant commitments and actions from the key players in the Asia-Pacific, this will have a devastating impact on people and planet by mid-century.

China, at the heart of the Asia-Pacific and the world’s largest carbon emissions emitter, has a critical role to play in putting the region and world on a more sustainable path.

The Climate Group has successfully positioned itself in China since 2007, as the leading NGO working with Chinese business, city and government partners on climate change. Our China Redesign program aimed to innovate how cities work with solution partners, in order to speed up the deployment of low carbon technologies, products and services. This will mean China can deliver a better life to its people in a way that will ultimately benefit the rest of our world.

We focused on eight critical issues: city design, city performance, climate finance, city finance, energy use, construction materials, energy supply and circular economy.

In the cities we partnered with, by 2020, we hoped to have helped achieved 75 million better livelihoods.

We worked to:

  • convene leaders by engaging the people who have the authority to deliver city scale low-carbon solutions and who can put the right policy and financing levers in place to support this process;
  • catalyze solutions and their viability by delivering demonstration projects in partnership with other stakeholders on a variety of themes in China; and
  • communicate success by telling our low carbon success stories to the Asia-Pacific region and the world to inspire momentum for green growth in China.

To meet these aims, we delivered large-scale city projects, working with a range of Chinese and international partners. For each project we identified global solution providers whose products and services can be demonstrated and deployed in China. These projects focused on removing the barriers to scale up and roll out green products and services in China. 

Platforms objectives Sample projects
  • Facilitate integrated city planning between different stakeholders.
  • Use scenario development to find least cost green growth solutions.
  • Communicate total value of transformative change. 
  • Design competitions for green city districts and sub-systems.
  • Carbon impact tools to assess city plans and identify savings shifts. 
  • Measure the actual performance of green development strategies.
  • Promote benchmarking and continuous city improvement.
  • Identify synergies between ICT, infrastructure and behavior that provide green growth solutions. 
  • Integrate smart technology to capture city and district performance.
  • Integrate carbon & sustainability targets into zoning plans and land sale contracts. 
Platforms objectives Sample projects
  • Define boundaries and provide leadership for climate finance in China.
  • Address climate change with a framework linking climate finance with domestic carbon trading piloting schemes and green lending.
  • China climate finance policy framework design.
  • Institutional investors group on climate change.
  • Develop market mechanisms to support sustainable PPP investment in green infrastructure.
  • Develop the value proposition for city governments to shift their procurement practices and contracts to green infrastructure.
  • Integrate buildings with city carbon market development.
  • Develop procurement standards to help cities adopt green growth innovations.



Platforms objectives Sample projects
  • Mainstream energy efficiency lending by financial institutions and utilities through existing customer channels.
  • Prioritize least cost demand side energy management before supply side solutions.
  • Bundle energy efficiency with SME operating loans to fast-track deployment.
  • Energy monitoring platforms that verify and enable demand side solutions.
  • Reduce the GHG intensity of cement & concrete mixes.
  • Reduce the GHG emissions of construction materials with whole lifecycle strategies.
  • Green standards for cement and concrete suppliers.
  • Modular construction systems for rapid installation and efficient recovery.


Platform objectives Sample projects
  • Rapidly increase the percentage of renewable energy in supplies of electric power and fuels.
  • Identify opportunities to de-carbonize fossil based power & industry with COharvesting by bio-technology.
  • Biofuel based on local source organic waste and stack gases.
  • Urban solar maps for PV access & deployment plans.
  • Link industry & biotech solution & product market
  • Support China’s drive to develop closed loop resource use and industrial ecology.
  • Maximize the investment in China’s Strategic Emerging Industries with integrated green growth solutions.


  • Shift supply chains to bio-renewable feed stocks.
  • Closed city resource cycles with extended producer responsibility networks.


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