World / Newsmakers

From Kansas to Copenhagen: clean energy beacons around the world

By The Guardian (Agencies) Updated: 2015-09-08 17:28

Editor's note: This article is run by the Guardian,which, together with China Daily and other 32 global media, forms Climate Publishers Network.

With global demand for energy continuing to rise and fossil fuel production buoyed by $5.3tn in tax-payer subsidies annually, it is easy to lose hope that cleaner forms of energy will ever catch up. But there are beacons around the world showing the way to an energy future that does not run on coal, oil and gas. Here are nine places that are blazing a trail to a less polluting future.

Tianjin Eco-city, China

From Kansas to Copenhagen: clean energy beacons around the world

A man walks in a building with solar-panel glass windows in the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city in Tianjin Binhai New Area, China. [Photo/Agencies]

While it's not a done deal, Tianjin Eco-city provides a clue to how China might answer the question: what are you going to do with all these millions of newly middle-class, high carbon-emitting citizens?

The Eco-city is a $24bn model of sustainability. It is being built from scratch and, when complete, will be able to accomodate 350,000 residents. It is just one of hundreds sprouting across China as the urban population, swelled by the rural poor, grows by 13m each year.

The city puts a premium on energy efficient buildings – a must for a country where coal smog has cut life expectancy in some areas by 5.5 years. Public transportation and modern urban planning will also help to cut pollution and carbon emissions.

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