"The situation is still not optimistic"
Having said this, I think there is still room for optimism despite the title of today's post. Bucky Fuller reminded us that optimism stems from knowing that options exist. However, success is never guaranteed. We still have to work hard to exercise our options. (GW)
China's urbanisation to hinder "low carbon" development, says study
Experts predict that rapidly expanding cities mean CO2 emissions will peak no sooner than 2035
China's rapid urbanisation is threatening to undermine the country's sustainable development goals, according to a study released yesterday by national urban planning experts.
Under the most optimistic "low carbon development" scenario set out in the report, national greenhouse gases would not peak until 2035, with cities accounting for most of the country’s energy consumption and carbon output.
According to the report, entitled China's Low Carbon Eco-city Development Strategy, between 70 and 75 per cent of Chinese will live in cities by 2050, with urban centres accounting for 90 per cent of the national economy.
The study, which is based on research by the Chinese Society for Urban Studies (CSUS), an academic group under the Ministry of Construction, warned that rapid urbanisation will make it difficult to meet soon-to-be announced government targets to cut the carbon intensity of the Chinese economy.
Even if China, the world's biggest polluter, were to enact a strict CO2 emissions policy, "the situation is still not optimistic", CSUS senior urban planner Li Xun told Xinhua news agency.
The report recommends that officials implement energy efficiency measures, including initiatives to develop and use relevant technologies that would cut electricity consumption. It also called for integrated public transport systems and the wider use of green building technologies and manufacturing processes.
Local governments should receive financial support to help enact these measures, said the study, which is to be distributed to lawmakers and government officials in around 600 Chinese cities.
China has resisted setting a CO2 target in the belief that doing so would hinder economic growth measures aimed at eradicating poverty. However, President Hu Jintao recently told the UN that the country would agree to a target designed to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy.
However, its urban development not only endangers China's "low carbon" goal, but also global targets. Government think-tank Energy Research Institute last month released a report that warned that China's economic growth imperils worldwide efforts to limit global warming to two degrees.