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China injects "green power" into economy
Updated: 2009-08-18 14:08

In the wake of the outbreak of the financial crisis, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon repeatedly warned that the crisis might dent global efforts to fight climate change and environmental degradation.

However, Ban should feel relieved when he learns that China has invested heavily in environmentally-friendly sectors to achieve sustainable development by boosting green economy despite the crisis which has gravely strained liquidity.

Last week, China's State Council passed a draft regulation on environmental evaluation over new projects to prevent pollution or ecological destruction from the beginning.

Under the draft, which is widely viewed as part of the key legal effort toward a green economy, environmental evaluations are a must before any development projects get the official approval.

With this draft passed, China's leadership makes it clear that China is determined to take the opportunity presented by the crisis to upgrade its economic growth model and achieve more healthy and sustained development.

In fact, a green strategy is being materialized in China.

In China's 4 trillion yuan stimulus package, 580 billion yuan would go to green projects like energy-efficient and pollution-control programs, ecological approach and technological innovations to fight climate change.

Through years of green endeavors, China has surpassed some advanced nations in such areas as wind and solar power.

China outnumbered the United States in new wind turbines built in the first half of 2009, Reuters quoted specialists Azure International as saying.

Reuters also reported that China's wind industry installed about 4.5 gigawatts of new power generating capacity through the first half of this year, while the United States added 4 gigawatts, citing figures from the American Wind Energy Association.

The data above was in line with the prediction of Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council. Sawyer had earlier expected China to become the world's top wind turbine manufacturer this year.

China has made equally impressive headway in solar industry. It took up about one third of global solar cell production in 2008 while Europe's share declined to about a quarter, according to a survey by German industry publication Photon.

Some analysts believe China is creating more "green collar" jobs than ever by adopting green strategy. With vigorous growth in both production and application of environmentally-friendly devices, China is becoming a green contributor to the world.

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"A low-carbon economy is the mainstream thinking," said Wu Changhua, China director of the London-based environment body The Climate Group, citing China's support for low-carbon LED lighting and electric cars as well as wind and solar.

In Wu's view, the nation is winning the race to be a major player in green economy.

China's low-carbon drive has started to pay off.

China's energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) declined 3.35 percent year-on-year through the first half of this year, said a statement issued earlier in August by the country's National Development and Reform Commission.

The energy consumption of major industrial manufacturers per unit of added value slipped 11.35 percent, added the statement.

The commission also said it predicted a 5-percent fall in China's sulfur dioxide emissions in the first half, and a 2-percent decline in its chemical oxygen demand (COD).

China's achievement in developing green economy deserves recognition, said Ban Ki-moon in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Ban commended China's efforts to invest in renewable energy and reduce emissions. He expressed the belief that China would set a good example for the developing world.

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