Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies

Making the transition to a low-carbon economy: the key challenges for China

By ZhongXiang Zhang

China has realised that for its own sake and from the international community’s perspective, it cannot afford to continue on the conventional path of encouraging economic growth at the expense of the environment. Accordingly, the country has placed ecological goals at the same level of priority as policies on economic, political, cultural and social development. Specifically, meeting the grand goal involves not only capping China’s nationwide coal consumption to let it peak before 2020 and carbon emissions peak around 2030, but also putting in place a variety of flagship programs and policies. This article argues that the 2030 carbon emissions peak goal is ambitious but achievable and concludes by arguing why there is reason to be optimistic about China’s ‘green push’.

(Photo: Herry Lawford on flickr)

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