Green China and associated policies for Pakistan
Editor's note: The author is Executive Director of the Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) Islamabad and Regional Expert on China, BRI & CPEC. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.
Due to constant and integrated structural reforms and continued visionary policies, China has successfully started its grand journey towards greater green development.
According to various published reports including the most recently circulated white paper on green development, China has signed more than 50 cooperation documents on ecological environment protection with many countries and international organizations and implemented the plans of "Green Silk Road Envoys," which trained 3000 green talents for more than 120 countries as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
In the latest published white paper on Chinese green development, it produces more than 70 percent of the global total of polysilicon, wafers, cells, and modules which is indeed a great achievement and promotes the institutionalization of green development in the world. In this connection, its qualitative energy efficiency policies and technologies, energy-saving tactics, and environmental protection industries have further improved its global standing.
China has developed a perfect green technical equipment manufacturing system, covering various sectors such as energy and water conservation, environmental protection, and renewable energy. Ultimately, its manufacturing and supply capacity of green technical equipment substantially increases while the cost keeps dropping.
For the further strengthening of green development, the policymakers of China have developed green public transport systems including rails and electric vehicles. It promoted the green transformation of transport vehicles.
According to the latest white paper, from 2012 to 2021, China planted 64 million hectares of trees, carried out desertification prevention and controlled over 18.53 million hectares of land, and added or restored more than 800,000 hectares of wetland.
Furthermore, the proportion of clean energy sources in China's total energy consumption increased from 14.5 percent in 2012 to 25.5 percent by the end of 2021, while the proportion of coal decreased from 68.5 percent to 56 percent over the same period. The same model of gradual shifting towards renewable energy should also be replicated in all the energy projects of CPEC .
According to the Chinese white paper, in 2021, the output value of China's energy conservation and environmental protection industries exceeded RMB 8 trillion (about USD 1.18 trillion).
Keeping in view its regional and international commitment to fighting against the looming threat of climate change, China constructively participated in global climate negotiations and made historic contributions to the conclusion and implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Moreover, regionally, China is also an active participant in South-South cooperation on climate change and is committed to working with other countries on promoting green development under BRI.
China is also helping Pakistan under CPEC initiate green development in the country which is boosting local employment and skill uplift and also enhancing Pakistan's green and sustainable development capacity.
Green development cooperation between the two countries has been further strengthened during the last two years. In this regard, it has already completed five wind power projects, one solar power project, and one hydropower project, besides three hydropower projects under construction.
China is the world's largest manufacturer of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and EVs which is now well placed to help deliver low-carbon technologies to Pakistan and its private companies. China has promised to help Pakistan promote solar energy panels in the country.
Green has now become new means of survival and sustainable development in the world in which the role of China is paramount. China is helping Pakistan institutionalize green development. It is predicted that further green development will further enhance energy efficiency, saving, and productivity options in the country.
To conclude, the government of Pakistan, policymakers, and all stakeholders should coordinate with the Chinese counterparts to promote green development in the country under CPEC. The formation of the Green Energy Corridor (GEC) under CPEC in the country would be a value addition.