Top negotiator stresses new urbanization and green path

By Deng Yaqing in Lima, Peru
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, December 12, 2014
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Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Xie Zhenhua said on Dec. 10 that China has made constructive efforts to curb climate change. Xie also announced that the country will follow a path of new industrialization characterized by intensiveness, intelligence, green development and low carbon.

According to statistics from the NDRC, China experienced average economic growth as high as 10.2 percent from 1991 to 2003 and an average annual growth in energy consumption of 6 percent. As China enters mid- and late-stage industrialization, carbon emissions will multiply if the current urban development pattern remains unchanged.

Andrew Steer, President of World Resources Institute, suggested a new model of urban development that features compact urban growth, connected infrastructure and coordinated governance. "The new urbanization should highlight the need to address urban sprawl, congestion and worsening pollution," he said at a session held during the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru.

Xie said low carbon pilot programs have been implemented in six provinces and 36 cities in order to figure out how to promote low carbon growth in areas with different levels of development.

While government should play a guiding role by maintaining consistent policies, companies, who are the main builders of cities, should also be held accountable for green urban development, said Xie.

"Looking at the largest 100 companies in the world, 60 of them have set clean energy targets," said Al Gore, Chairman of the Climate Reality Project, suggesting that the world must turn away from its continuing obsession with carbon-based energy and turn toward new energy sources.

Commenting on the exploration of green development models, Gore said, "As famous Chinese author Lu Xun said, hope is like a path in the countryside. Originally, there was no path, but once people begin to make a path, a way appears.”

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