Sustainable development: report outlines China’s progress, challenges

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A report was released last year detailing China’s progress and challenges as it transitions to a more sustainable mode of development.

The Blue Book on Low-Carbon Development: China’s Carbon Peak and Carbon Neutrality Progress Report (2021) was released by China Power Investment Corporation Group Co Ltd (CPIC), the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), and the Social Sciences Academic Press (SSAP).

The report examined the significance of the country’s green transition, while introducing the experience of the EU and the United States in this field. It pointed out some of the main opportunities for China as it tries to become carbon neutral:

  1. The decisive role of the Chinese government in promoting systemic changes in the economy and society;
  2. The rapid development of China’s scientific and technological innovation capabilities in the fields of AI and green technology;
  3. The advantages that can be enjoyed by latecomers, as China industrialized and urbanized later than developed countries – giving it the opportunity to be a leader in taking up new technologies and in building green infrastructure;
  4. The feasibility of creating a relatively complete green industrial chain, thanks to the country’s huge economy and complete manufacturing system.

The report also pointed out some of the huge challenges the country still faces: its dependence on fossil fuels for economic growth, the coal-dominated energy structure, low energy utilization rate, and inadequate development of environmental protection technologies.