On May 3, an article featured by China.org headlined, China more active in promoting green development globally. (Read the article here.)
A policy change
The article insists that China is transforming its economic policy from “growth at any cost” to growth that is mindful of the environment.
In its current five-year plan, economic growth remains a high priority. The billions of dollars China is pouring into its “Belt and Road Initiative” testifies to that commitment.
But along with seeking economic growth for China, the 13th Five Year Plan (2015-2020), insists on green growth and ecological sustainability. China.org says that commitment is grounded in China’s “tradition-based wisdom, effective governance and, more importantly, the great vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity.”
A U.S. evaluation
A report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission speaks positively about China’s attempt to go greener. “The Chinese government is attempting to clean up the severe environmental degradation left by its ‘growth at any cost’ strategy and shift toward a more sustainable economic model.”
The report highlights the need for more concern for the environment. “Official reports found that 20 percent of China’s arable land and 33 percent of its surface water are polluted, and more than 80 percent of underground well water used by farms, factories, and households is too polluted to safely drink or bathe in.103 In addition, China is the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter, accounting for more than one-quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions.”
Concern for environment growing
The resolve to promote green growth began with the 12th Five-Year Plan. The Commission’s report notes that under that plan, “China’s government dedicated significant funds and high-level attention to environmental degradation and building its clean energy industries…. [It] largely met its 12th FYP targets for energy consumption and carbon and pollutant emissions reduction.”
The report continues, “The 13th FYP builds upon this momentum.” It quotes Kevin Mo, managing director for climate and sustainable urbanization at the Paulson Institute, “What’s exciting is that the government is taking an integrated approach, tackling air quality, climate change, and the development of a new model of growth together instead of treating them as separate issues.”