Innovation keys to building low-carbon cities

By Wang Ke
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, December 10, 2010
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Li Junfeng, deputy director general of the National Development and Reform Commission's Energy Research Institute, has called on the government to develop and implement policies to promote a low-carbon economy, though he admitted that many governments do not know how to build one.

Li, who is attending the UN climate talks in Cancun of Mexico, offered some suggestions.

"In order to build low-carbon cities, governments at all levels need to encourage companies to develop green industry, increase resources and energy utilization efficiency and achieve rapid economic growth, while reducing resource consumption and pollutant emissions," Li said.

Green urban development has become popular among local Chinese governments. In a frequently cited example, Baoding, Hebei Province, has added thousands of new jobs in wind, solar and other renewable energy technologies over the last three years.

Li said effective use of low-carbon energy is the core of urban construction, and the three pillars of building low-carbon cities are environmental awareness, technology and investment, and an innovation mechanism.

Li said awareness has been achieved. "More and more Chinese people believe the environment is very important for us," he said.

On technology and investment, Li said mitigation projects in most sectors will reduce regional pollution levels, improve technologies and attract funds. For instance, coal washing in power plants can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and pollutants with more local impacts.

Li stressed that a low-carbon city model needed innovation both in advanced technologies and its political system, putting China at the forefront of international competition.

"Now in many green fields, China has mastered advanced technologies," Li said. "I have the confidence that China will find its own way," he said.

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