The 2008 Beijing Olympics is currently going on smoothly. After entering the Olympics venues, attentive audiences will notice that all the venues are using new energy in various ways.
In fact, not only Olympics venues but also many areas in China are actively promoting renewable energy sources and new energy sources. “Low-carbon economy”, characterized by low energy consumption and low emission, are becoming more and more popular in China.
Low-carbon economy becomes a popular word
The UK proposed to build a society based on low-carbon economy by 2050; Japan is dedicated to developing low-carbon technology; Germany’s technological industry of environmental protection is expected to outweigh traditional manufacturing industry by 2020, becoming the dominant industry in Germany; the USA has invested a large sum of money in research and development of environmental protection technology, including biofuel, solar facilities, power plants if zero carbon dioxide emission, and so on.
Although “low-carbon economy” seems strange to ordinary citizens, under the circumstances of global warming, “low-carbon economy”, which is based on low energy consumption, low emission, low pollution, is becoming the global trend and strategic action of more and more countries.
Zhang Shiqiu, director of Environment and Economy Institute of Beijing University, said to a journalist from China Economic Times, “Actually, at present, there is no precise definition of ‘low-carbon economy’”.
Besides, Yang Xiaodong, general manger of Beijing Jingcheng Jiayu Environmental Science and Technology Co. Ltd, which has participated in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) since 2001, claimed that at present, low-carbon economy is still at its conceptual period and an international system is yet to be established.
Zhuang Guiyang, deputy secretary general of Sustainable Development Research Center of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the journalist that the word “low-carbon economy” can be found in literature dating back to the end of 1990s but it didn’t begin to attract people’s attention until it was put forward in the UK white book in 2003. In 2007, low-carbon economy became a popular word for the international community in exploring the countermeasures against global warming.
Zhuang Guiyang said that high emission of greenhouse gases produced by massive use of traditional energy has placed a huge threat to natural environment and ecosystem in the world, confronting people with the pressure and challenge of worsening ecological environment. The world has attached more and more attention to substitute traditional high emission energy for low-carbon energy.
China faced with adjustment of low-carbon economy
In the early 2006, in order to promote energy saving and emission control and build an eco-friendly society; the State Council released the Announcement on Encouraging the Development of Eco-friendly and Low-Emission Cars. It was stated clearly that all the restrictions on low-emission cars should be removed before March 2006. Later, cities like Beijing and Shanghai basically removed restrictions on driving routes of low-emission cars.
In July 2007, Premier Wen Jiabao held the first session of leadership group meeting and State Council conference on countermeasures against climate change, energy saving and emission control in two consecutively days, with the purpose of assigning tasks to cope with climate change and implement energy saving and emission control.
Then, the Chinese government began to act out. One important instance is that in the white book of China’s Energy Condition and Policy released on Dec 26, 2007, energy multiplex development was stressed instead of coal. Besides, renewable energy source was officially listed as an important part of national energy development strategy.
In 2008, during the NPC (National People’s Congress)and CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference), Wu Xiaoqing, member of the CPPCC, brought up “low-carbon economy” on the agenda. He believed that whether China can rank among the top countries in the future depends to a great extent on China’s ability to cope with the development and adjustment of low-carbon economy. China should take actions in this regard as soon as possible. He also suggested that we should develop low-carbon economy and embark on technical feasibility and pilot research.
Meanwhile, to better develop low-carbon economy, Qinghua University officially set up the institute of low-carbon economy early this year. It focuses on low-carbon economy, policy and strategy implementation system as well as thorough research, providing support for sustainable development of economy and society of China and the world at large.
According to a report on China Clean Revolution released by the non-profit international organization The Climate Group on August 1, influenced by policy stimulation and other factors, China set foot on the path to low-carbon economic development, fasten the steps towards low-carbon technological innovation and millions of funds has been attracted to improve energy efficiency as well as renewable energy development field.
Development pattern chooses Low-carbon economy
The report released by the Climate Group reflects the situation of low-carbon economy in China.
As far as the journalist is concerned, the wind power project has been approved by many provinces and cities including Shandong Province and Hubei Province. They have also accelerated the production of wind power machine units. Other parts of the country are actively promoting new energy.
Zhuang Guiyang said that developing low-carbon economy exerts a positive influence on China; however, China has not come up with a concrete development plan in this regard.
During the interview, everyone agreed on the positive influence of low-carbon economy on china. However, they have also pointed out that China should make full preparation in all aspects.
Li Zheng, director of BP Clean Energy Research and Education Center, believed that countries differ on coping strategies towards developing low-carbon economy and risks do exist. Therefore, low-carbon economy should be given priority. If preparation is not made before hand, it may cost more. China should make preparations in advance and bring advantages into full play.
Zhang Shiqiu said that developing low-carbon economy is the choice of economic development pattern, which requires the adjustment of energy structure and industrial structure, technological innovation and is therefore an important path to China’s sustainable development.
Zhang Shiqiu also added that if China plans to develop low-carbon economy, it needs not only to come up with a direction, policy and intention of development strategy but also show preference towards low-carbon economy in its policies.