Business / Economy

Move from heavy industry gives China potential to develop green economy

By Wang Yanfei ( Updated: 2016-03-03 21:52

Green development during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20) will generate more investment and job opportunities, experts said.

"China has a greater potential to develop a green economy as the country is shifting away from heavy sectors that have long been driving economic growth," said Hu Angang, an economics professor at Tsinghua University, at a panel discussion co-sponsored by the World Resource Institute and Phoenix International Think Tank.

As one of the core economic targets, a green economy has the potential to develop as long as "the country is able to keep the growth rate within a reasonable range, with more detailed plans and policies," said Hu.

Official data shows that coal consumption was down by 3.7 percent last year, pointing to a reduced reliance on the fuel and a drop in emissions.

China has made progress in several areas, including closing and fining outdated steel production plants, promotion of low-impact economic development in some regions and encouragement of green finance, according to Manish Bapna, vice president of the World Resources Institute.

Yi Dinghong, an economics professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing said new energy industries might be one possible area to create more jobs.

Even though China started late in promoting a green economy compared to other countries, the country is able to catch up with more government support, said Yi.

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