By Zhang Xiaodong, People’s Daily
China is pursuing greener economic development, and making continuous efforts to help build a cleaner and more beautiful world.
In February 2020, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced that the country had won its three-year battle against air pollution, and overfulfilled all the obligatory targets for improving air quality set in its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).
In April 2021, the share of good air quality days stood at 92.5 percent on average in China’s 339 cities at the prefecture level and above, up 3.8 percentage points year on year.
At the same time, the average density of PM2.5, among the main pollutants, dropped by 15.2 percent compared with the same period last year to 28 micrograms per cubic meter.
Many residents across China said that they can now see more “blue sky days” with clean air and fewer smoggy days, and felt a noticeable improvement in air quality.
China has continuously optimized its energy mix. In many fields of the industrial sector, fossil energy has gradually been replaced by clean energy such as wind power and bio-energy.
The first bio-power plant in the southern region of east China’s Jiangsu province, where agricultural wastes including straw stalks are sent in a steady stream by cargo ships, can generate more than 200 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year.
The development of wind power has been extended to all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities across the country, with two wind turbines being installed every hour in the country.
China has achieved all the nine binding targets for ecological environment protection set in its 13th Five-Year Plan. The country’s installed capacity and generation output of photovoltaic and wind power generation both rank first in the world.
The production, sales, and ownership of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China account for half of the world’s total. NEVs help reduce the country’s pollutant emissions by more than 3 million tons a year.
In 2020, China’s carbon emission intensity fell by 48.4 percent compared with that in 2005. From 2000 to 2017, the country was credited with about a quarter of the increase in global green leaf areas.
China’s goals to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, while representing a major strategic decision made by the country driven by its sense of responsibility regarding building a community with a shared future for mankind and the intrinsic requirement for achieving sustainable development, is also the country’s solemn promise to the world.
As a major manufacturer in the world, China must make innovations and breakthroughs in core technologies for its goals of peaking carbon dioxide emissions and achieving carbon neutrality.
Chinese appliance manufacturer Gree and Tsinghua University have jointly developed a technology that is able to help cut 85.7 percent of energy consumption in air conditioning. The technology was recently awarded a grand prize at Global Cooling Prize, an innovation competition aiming to develop a climate-friendly residential cooling solution. The event was participated by more than 2,100 competing teams from nearly 100 countries this year.
It is estimated that the cooling technology, once massively employed, could possibly reduce carbon emissions by 100 billion tons before 2050, which is equivalent to the amount of carbon absorbed by 116 billion trees in 100 years.
So far, the Gree-Tsinghua University technology has been adopted by over 6,000 projects in the world, marking another contribution of Chinese innovation to the world.
China has carried out exchanges and cooperation on environment protection with other countries at multiple levels, through various channels, and in diverse fields.
It has promoted the Paris Agreement’s entry into force and implementation, set up a South-South cooperation fund on climate change, initiated the Belt and Road Initiative International Green Development Coalition, and listed green development as one of the eight major initiatives in China-Africa cooperation.
The Earth is the one and only home of human beings. Only by joining hands and realizing green and sustainable development can countries resolve environmental problems faced by all mankind.