China has been the target of environmentalists worldwide and also within its own borders. This is mainly due to the diminished air and water quality due to massive industrialization in recent years and the use of coal as heating and also used to produce oil.
Oil produced from coal has twice the CO2 emissions as burning coal alone. So is it possible that China may become the Go Green poster child of the industrialized world? It is not only possible – it is very likely.
China is a giant canvas for painting a green picture for the world. Chinese officials are aware of the enormity of the problem but have also implemented equally large plans.
The combination of sustainable natural resources and alternative plans for the use of coal and plastics have put the country on the track to showing the greatest improvement environmentally. This is a plan that has been criticized for its slow track path but nonetheless, it is a plan.
They built the Great Wall one stone at a time and they will clean up the environment one city at a time. Some of the implemented plans and sustainable resources that will be part of a greener China include:
Reduction in Coal Burning – China announced a few years ago that it was ambitiously implementing a plan to curb air pollution by reducing the burning of coal and removing high pollution vehicles from its roads. The plan was released by the States Council to add substance to a broader plan issued earlier this year.
Renewable Energy – China leads the world in use of renewable energy beginning with hydropower and now wind, biomass and solar. China is expected to increase its hydropower capacity tenfold between 2015 and 2025.
During this same period, wind energy increases will rise from 82 GW to 270 GW with 40 GW being produced offshore. China is also the world’s largest producer of photovoltaic modules, commonly known as solar panels.
Plastic Bag Use – China issued a ban on free plastic shopping bags already more than a decade ago. According to the report by the National Development and Reform Commission, the amount of bags that were reduced in landfills totaled 167 million. This equated to a reduction in use of 16 million tons of oil.
Hemp Fiber – Hemp is the most sustainable fiber in the world. It produces high-quality cloth that can be used as universally as cotton. It uses no chemicals to process and replenishes the soil in which it is grown. Cotton requires chemical processing and depletes the nutrients from its soil. Hemp grows from seed to mature plant is a single season.
The demand for hemp products in the USD and other countries continues to grow. The growing of fiber hemp is banned in the US because of its sharing a genus with marijuana. There is no presence of the drug THC in fiber hemp. China is the leading producer of hemp fiber in the world.
Bamboo Construction Products – China leads the world in the manufacture of bamboo construction product such as woven fiber flooring. Recent criticism and protests by distributors have led to a reduction in harmful formaldehyde use in processing.
Bamboo is a 10 percent sustainable resource. Forests in China were being cut to grow bamboo which eliminated it as a green product but that practice has been all but eliminated. China also has the largest acreage of protected forests in the world.
As the next decade approaches the world will see China, not as the land of red sun and gray skies as it has been called, but a land with a bright environmental outlook.
By stepping in stride with these plans, we can help build greener communities – literally. One of the most popular green and community-enforcing ideas is a playground. The organization Playworld Systems offers playground equipment that we can reinvest in and leverage our Parks & Recreation departments to support – instead of another smog-spitting factory.
With huge increases in sustainable energy connected to the grid and green products being shipped worldwide, China is poised to be the next Go Green model for the industrialized world. Check out also his article on electric cars.