Circular economy to speed recovery

By Wang Ke
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, October 20, 2009
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Experts yesterday called for the government to promote the circular economy to boost China's economy recovery.

Experts attending the 4th China International Recycling Economy (or circular economy) Summit in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on October 19, agreed using resources with greater efficiency and recycled where possible is the route to sustainable economic growth.

Yang Boling, former president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, urged governments at all levels to make plans to advance the circular economy, and improve controls on energy use and pollution.

"Investments in all economic fields shrank during the financial crisis of the past months, and it's the time to look to recovery," he said. "The circular economy, including green technologies, low carbon industries and so on, can provide an efficient path."

But Yang said it would be difficult for China – a country that has based its rapid economic development over the past few decades on massive exploitation of natural resources – to switch to the new model in a short time, particularly during the financial crisis.

Yang said China should strengthen scientific and technological cooperation with recycling economy experts worldwide.

"Through the mutual cooperation of international society and independent innovation of science and technology, we must perfect a pattern of circular economy that is relevant to national conditions," he said.

Meng Fansen, former vice director of the Ministry of Science and Technology Business Management Department also called for the government to improve the effectiveness of the circular economy through a balanced mix of policy instruments.

He said, "The government should also carry out a thorough review of existing policies, including regulatory frameworks using both administrative orders and market-based incentives."

He recommended that the production sector, local governments, community groups, industrial associations, professional networks, and non-government organizations be actively involved in establishing the circular economy.

The report warned that unclear distribution of responsibilities and weak coordination among various government organizations are undermining the effective implementation of circular economy development strategies.

The concept of the circular economy developed in China as a strategy for reducing the demand of its booming economy for natural resources. It focuses on high efficiency in resource usage as a way of sustaining improvement in the quality of life. It is also connected with the "zero-waste" economy or "green" accounting endorsed by international organizations such as the World Bank.

China's 1st Circular Economy Promotion Law was adopted at the 4th session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress on August 29, 2008, and came into force on January 1, 2009.

The 1st Circular Economy Promotion Association was set up on January 11, 2009. It is a professional, non-profit making organization voluntarily set up by a number of companies and research institutes engaged in the development of the circular economy.

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