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China needs to speed up shift to green economy: experts

2014-09-12 10:52 Global Times Web Editor: Qin Dexing

China's transition to green economy is still not fast enough, president of the world's largest environmental organization said Thursday during a parallel session at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin.

Green economy generally refers to an economy that aims to reduce environmental risks and promotes sustainable development, experts said.

One of the major reasons for the slow development is that there are too many departments and bureaus in China taking responsibility for the development of green economy, said Zhang Xinsheng, president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Zhang's opinion was echoed by Gong Ke, president of Tianjin-based Nankai University.

"The enforcement of environmental laws and regulations is still weak, despite a great progress in legislation in recent years," said Gong.

Besides the need for further improvement in supervision and regulation, lack of financial support appears to be another major issue hampering the development of green economy.

Without enough investment, green economy, which requires huge spending on technological research at the early stage, can hardly develop well, Zhang Yuanxun, a professor of resources and environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the Global Times Thursday.

Actually, incentives, such as subsidies, tax breaks and zero tariffs, have already been introduced in China to help stimulate green investment in solar, wind and other renewable energy projects. According to a report released in June by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, Chinese investment in renewable energy totaled $56.3 billion in 2013, topping the rest of the world.

But it seems that China still needs to devote more efforts to support renewable energy. A report by the UN Environment Programme in mid-June said China needs to inject at least 32 trillion yuan ($5.2 trillion) by 2050 to meet the need for green economy development.

With an increasing number of vehicles on the road and rising demand for power, China has reportedly become the world's largest consumer of energy. Consumption of crude oil, natural gas and electricity in 2013 jumped 3.4 percent, 13 percent and 7.5 percent year-on-year, respectively, according to data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics in February.

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