Beautiful China 2020
by China Water Risk 16 March, 2016
China wants to exert “tireless efforts” to build a “Beautiful China where the sky is blue, the land is green and the water runs clear” says Premier Li Keqiang in his 2016 work report during the 4th Session of the 12th National People’s Congress. Beautiful China is both a social & economic vision.”To take a path that leads to both economic development and environmental improvement,” structural reform from governance to economic mix is needed. We review the targets set for 2016 and 2020; additional ecological barriers & sponge cities to build resilience; avoiding man-made disasters to catastrophe insurance and more. Challenges & innovations ahead are vast in the 13FYP. Beautiful China points to the health and longevity of the people and the country. Although over 300 million people gained access to safe drinking water in the 12FYP, there are now worries over endocrine disruptors, algal toxins and antibiotics in China’s waterways. We interview Yin Zhan, the head of Water & Human Health Center at the Chinese Academy of Science for his take on these emerging contaminants in seemingly “clean” water. Meanwhile, with continued rapid urbanisation to 60% by 2020, water use and wastewater discharge will both increase. We turn to experts Y. Zheng, Wang, F. Zheng & Dillon from the China Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) Working Group to see how MAR can help build resilience and reclaim water for storage and use later. But being beautiful isn’t cheap. Already, China says it needs to spend RMB2 trillion per year to finance climate solutions and address environmental issues. Can China’s new green bond rules help raise such funds and make China the leader in global green bonds? Trucost’s Chaoni Huang & Derek Ip expands on their Chinese characteristics. Elsewhere, Fiji was the first to ratify the climate deal towards a low carbon economy and CDP’s Kate Levick updates on successes & struggles on the road from COP21 so far. China has yet to ratify but its lead climate envoy said the nation will likely to “far surpass” its 2020 emissions reduction goal. Yet we are far from blue skies. Indeed, “tireless efforts” lie ahead. Kickstart these efforts by getting on top of China’s policies in our summary “Key Policies for 2015-2016”.
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