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Green Building in China
Alex Steffen, 1 Dec 04

As we've discussed before, China is taking some giant steps forward in building an ecologically sane future: embracing windpower, building the largest tidal energy project in the world, implementing new automobile fuel efficiency standards more stringent than those of the US, promoting a massive solar energy program and becoming one of the largest manufacturers of solar cells, even embracing the idea of a green olympics.

Now, China says, it's moving into green building, in a big way:

"[B]y the end of 2010, all Chinese cities will be expected to reduce their buildings’ energy use by 50 percent; by 2020, that figure will be 65 percent. Furthermore, by 2010, 25 percent of existing residential and public buildings in the country’s large cities will be retrofitted to be greener; that number will be 15 percent in medium-sized cities and 10 percent in small cities. Over 80 million square meters of building space will be powered using solar and other renewable energies.

"If China follows the sustainability plan announced by Minister Qiu, the country will essentially commit itself to reconstructing a sizable portion of its built environment. In fact, China would embark on one of the largest rebuilding projects in world history."

We shouldn't underestimate just how far China has yet to go. With well over a billion people, and an economy that grew 9% last year, China's future is of direct consequence to every person on the planet, and China's current path is deeply unsustainable. It is already one of the world's largest polluters, and faces truly monumental environmental challenges, challenges perhaps too large to be entirely overcome. That said, moves like this make us optimistic that a bright green China is still possible.

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Comments

Very encouraging. Lets hope all these plans are carried through.


Posted by: g Bruno on 2 Dec 04

Sure, "Lets hope all these plans are carried through." But it's a pity the US boss-in-chief can't even recognize the need for such plans. What a dolt. The USA has 4% of the world's population and creates 25% of the damaging greenhouse gases. Well done!


Posted by: cynic on 3 Dec 04



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