Tuesday, March 25, 2014

China seeks ways to turn green into gold - People's Daily Online

By Gao Yinan (People's Daily Online)

Smog, contaminated water, poisoned foods and ecological deterioration are not the price China has to pay for economic development.

Liu Shijin, deputy head of the Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council addressed Chinese and international audience on China’s efforts on green growth, at the seminar on March 21, which aims to send the message that green development can be a new source of national wealth and economic development can be achieved without sacrificing the valuable environment.

"China should reassess the costs of economic growth and let the market play a decisive role in protecting the environment and promote greener growth," he said.

Liu focused on the need for creating incentives to facilitate industrial innovation and greener economic growth to deal with environmental challenges in China, saying: "China is undergoing a transition of economic growth. As China's economic growth is decelerating, its economic structure is approaching a turning point."

"Behind green growth is the notion that there is a way to push growth while still maintaining the fundamental pathways to sustainable development," said Howard Bamsey, Director-General of the Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute.

Bamsey stressed that green wealth cannot be fully understood in the thinking of traditional industrialization mode. Instead, in the new model for growth, economics that underpins growth plans takes into account all of the issues that until now economics has regarded as external and to be ignored.

"China's energy intensity is much higher than that of developed countries, and the world's second largest economy has great potential to tap in reducing its energy intensity. The government can provide tax and financial incentives to help companies develop a circular economy," said Wang Xuejun of Peking University.

Although introducing the circular economy approach initially imposes increased costs and often requires substantial investments from both government and private entities, many of the circular economy solutions also turn out to be economically advantageous when the costs of environmental externalities that are avoided are fully taken into account.

The legislation, policies, and pilot programs already in place demonstrate the potential of circular economy to make a real difference.

China seeks ways to turn green into gold - People's Daily Online