U.N. Study Says It’s Make Green Or Break For China


China has no other choice but to shift

 to low-carbon economic development

as it continues to industrialize,

according to a report by the United Nations Development Programme.

China’s economic progress over the years has made it the second largest economy in the world. But according to the report, climate change would severely affect the country’s water systems, agricultural and crop production, which will have implications on food and human security.

The report, published with China’s Renmin University, points out that if these are not addressed, the negative impacts of climate change may endanger and even reverse the country’s progress.

“The shift to a low-carbon development pathway is imperative as China balances further economic development with environmental sustainability and the need to respond to the threat of climate change,” said Khalid Malik, U.N. resident coordinator and the development agency’s representative in China.

“China is at a critical juncture when the business as usual growth model is not sufficient to the country’s emerging challenges and pressures,” Mr. Malik added.

The report admits that China’s shift to low-carbon development entails risks such as job losses, price hikes and fiscal revenue shortfalls.

But the advantages that such a measure would result in outnumber the risks, including sustained job generation in the green sector, increased competitiveness in new technology, technological innovation, reduced human health risks and the protection of vital ecosystems.

China expects at least 350 million rural residents to move to urban areas over the next 20 years. The report said this massive internal movement could force carbon dioxide emissions to further shoot up.

The study suggests that China introduce and enforce more stringent standards of energy efficiency for building structures and electronic appliances. In addition, public mass transportation must be developed to prevent an increase in energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions.

“If China can fully seize the opportunities at hand and accomplish the report’s suggested recommendations, it will be possible to move towards a society which is not only environmentally sustainable, but which provides the conditions for greater job creation, improved resource efficiency and energy security, enhanced food security, and better health conditions for its citizenry,” Mr. Malik said.

China has been aggressively developing renewable energy sources to reduce its carbon footprint. It is currently one of the global leaders in wind, solar and hydropower