Local innovation projects offer solutions to sustainable growth

By Zhu Bochen
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, November 26, 2021
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The Paulson Institute, in partnership with Tsinghua University, announces the winners of the 2021 Paulson Prize for Sustainability on Wednesday during a virtual award ceremony on Tuesday. [Photo courtesy of the Paulson Institute]

Two innovation projects based in China's Fujian and Jiangsu provinces have won this year's Paulson Prize for Sustainability, in the categories of Nature Stewardship and Green Innovation respectively, offering local solutions to global forest conservation and carbon emissions.

The winners, which include a forest eco-bank mechanism and carbon sink project in Fujian's Nanping city, as well as an efficient cooling system and innovative investment model in Jiangsu's Nanjing city, were announced at a virtual award ceremony on Tuesday.

For the Nature Stewardship category, the eco-bank mechanism in Nanping successfully integrated fragmented local forest resources and turned them into quality assets through large-scale, specialized, and industrial operations. In addition to helping local farmers earn a stable income, the project also explores diversified and market-oriented financing and investment platforms to tackle economic difficulties in the ecological conservation and restoration sectors.

"This project has created sustainable forest management practices and very innovative financing models that maximize ecological and social benefits," said Lynn Scarlett, the chief external affairs officer at the Nature Conservancy and co-chair of the prize selection panel.

"This project can set a great example for many other places in the southern provinces of China to utilize natural capital to achieve ecological, economic and social goals," she added.

Meanwhile, the cooling project that won the Green Innovation category was developed by local air-conditioner supplier TICA and stands as a lifecycle ultra-efficient cooling system capable of improving energy efficiency by 80% compared to the country's average level.

According to Zhuang Weimin, dean of the School of Architecture of Tsinghua University and co-chair of the prize selection panel, TICA's project can facilitate the green and efficient development of the refrigeration sector and represents a positive impact for China's carbon emission goals and efforts to mitigate climate change.

"These projects can make a difference in rising to the twin challenges of climate and biodiversity loss," said Henry M. Paulson Jr., former U.S. treasury secretary and chairman of the Paulson Institute, a Chicago-based think tank. 

"And they have the potential to inspire societies to adapt more sustainable practices in China and the rest of the world," he added.

The Paulson Prize for Sustainability, now in its eighth year, was launched by the Paulson Institute in partnership with China's Tsinghua University. The award aims to renew efforts to tackle climate change in the post-pandemic era by pooling innovative solutions in the fields of green and low-carbon development.

Since 2013, the prize has promoted sustainable development in China and beyond, awarding projects in China that provide innovative, scalable, and market-based solutions at the intersection of economics and the environment.

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