“Towards Low-Carbon Development”

How can the opportunities presented by the development of a sustainable low-carbon economy be grasped? Both Towards Low-Carbon Development: China and the World and Sustainable Development Strategy in China – Green Development and Innovation provide China with a strategic view.

The two publications use different approaches and have different emphases, but both look at China’s frameworks for strategic choices and actions in the low-carbon era and explore the country’s green development strategy.

The first book has been put together by 10 Chinese economists and takes a developing-nation stance, proposing a coordinated emissions-reduction plan across nations with the aim of promoting the next global emissions agreement.

It accepts the theory of global warming and discusses the costs and benefits, political feasibility and environmental effectiveness of China’s low-carbon policies, reflecting the environmental concerns of China’s mainstream economists.

But this book is only the start. There will be more discussion of the feasibility of new international mechanisms following on from last December’s Copenhagen talks.

The second book has been complied by organisations and NGOs that have been long involved in researching sustainable development policy, and holds that “green development and innovation” will be the focus of China’s sustainable development strategy for the next decade.

It covers all socioeconomic aspects of green development, and makes suggestions for national strategic planning, policy innovation and technological innovation during China’s 12th Five Year Plan and mid-to-long term sustainable development.

If strategy is to be implemented in actual projects, it must take into consideration economic feasibility. However, this book provides relatively little economic analysis of the policies suggested.

Towards Low-Carbon Development: China and the World
Fan Gang, editor
China Economics Press, 2010

Sustainable Development Strategy in China: Green Development and Innovation
Chinese Academy of Sciences Sustainable Development Strategy Group
Science Press, 2010

— By Luo Rui

Luo Rui is a consultant at ICF International in Beijing