China’s eco-sector expected to double in value by 2020
The value of China’s green industries, which includes renewable energy and environmental protection, is expected to double in value by 2020.
The Chinese government expects the output value of its energy saving and environmental protection industry to rise from 4.5tr yuan (£523bn) last year to more than 10tr by 2020, lifting its share of gross domestic product from 2.1 per cent to 3 per cent.
State news agency Xinhua quoted Hu Zucai, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s state planning agency, in a report on the forecasts on Tuesday. Hu said the industry currently employs more than 30 million people.
The news aligns with expectations that China could become the new flag-bearer in the fight against global warming following the election of climate change sceptic Donald Trump in the US presidential elections.
China is hoping that big outlays in the environmental sector will not only reverse some of the damage done by more than three decades of breakneck economic growth, but will also help diversify the country’s heavy industrial economy.
Total investment in pollution prevention is expected to reach 8-10tr yuan over the 2016-2020 period, according to analysts with Everbright Securities. Spending stood at 4.3tr yuan over the previous five years, amounting to 1.45 per cent of GDP, they said.
The Chinese government approved a “five-year plan” for the environment earlier this month, vowing to make significant cuts in total emissions and “bring environmental risks under effective control” by 2020.
In recent policy documents, the government has also promised to spend heavily to improve its environmental monitoring systems and boost sewage and household waste treatment over the 2016-2020 period.
Earlier this week, China approved a 247bn yuan railway plan to improve transport links between the capital Beijing and the planned Jing-Jin-Ji ‘megacity’ which includes the eco-city of Tianjin.