As the COP15 United Nations Climate Change Conference winds down today in Copenhagen, many questions have been raised and numerous reflections made on China’s stance regarding climate change and sustainable development. Since China has often been frowned upon for its less-than-stellar environmental record, it is thus interesting to read an article by guest blogger Scott Moore, from the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, on Green Leap Forward regarding the significant measures China plans to take in order to grow sustainably in the future while reducing damage to the environment. Moore writes,
“From increasing the share of renewable energy to promoting a new “low-carbon mentality” among its citizens, China has made a name for itself as the first industrializing country — ever — to make serious efforts to limit the contribution of its economic development to climate change. By some estimates, these measures will reduce China’s emissions by an amount greater than the total reductions achieved by all parties under the Kyoto Protocol.”
How does China plan to do so? China’s method necessitates a complete developmental overhaul. As such,
“Traditional heavy industry, and the highly-polluting, resource-intensive model of development which sustains it [China], will be replaced by a vision of nimble green enterprises, poised to lead China into the world’s economic future. At Copenhagen, China’s leaders make no secret of this ambition: they speak of building an energy system which is less polluting, more secure, and more efficient, and of an “innovative” development pattern that is higher-quality and lower-emitting.”
What does this mean for China? Read about the implications of these plans for China’s development in the rest of the entry.