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23 Feb State Council Issues Guideline for Green, Low-Carbon Circular Economy
China’s State Council has published a guideline on February 22, to accelerate the development of a green and low-carbon circular economy, as reported by Xinhua on the next day. According to the guideline, the country targets to witness a significant improvement in its industrial, energy and transportation structure by 2025, with a notable increase in the proportion of green industries, a marked reduction in carbon emission intensity, and a more effective law system. Furthermore, by 2035, energy and resource utilization rate in key industries and for key products in the country should reach an internationally-advanced level, and the country should widely embrace green lifestyles and green production mode.
To meet the targets, the guideline specifically highlights work in seven areas, including ensuring green development in China’s production, circulation and consumption system, speeding up the green upgrading of infrastructure, encouraging green technology R&D, optimizing the environmental law and policy system, and strengthening governmental supervision. This guideline is in response to China’s climate commitments to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and realize carbon neutrality by 2060.
The guideline reiterates the importance to raise the share of renewable sources in the total energy mix, urging provincial and municipal governments to support the development of wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, marine, hydrogen and biomass power based on the local conditions. The country has more than doubled its wind and solar capacity in 2020, and targets to reach a non-fossil-fuel share of 25% by 2030, up from just 6.8% in 2005 and 15.3% in 2019.
Meanwhile, the central government also indicates that it will strengthen the green finance performance evaluation for financial institutions, and support qualified green companies to go public, or raise money from the international market. According to the guideline, green insurance and green credit should also be developed, and a unified nationwide standard should be built for green bonds and green bond ratings in the country.
The guideline also stresses the country’s ambition to deepen global collaboration in green development, promoting the convergence of international green standards in China and enhancing policy communication, green technology exchange, project collaboration and talent training with worldwide countries. Other measures mentioned in the guideline include improving the pricing mechanism for green charges, boosting pollutant management, continuing building the green certification system and the national emissions trading scheme (ETS), as well as creating a green supply chain in the country.