A Synergistic Strategy of Climate and Environment to a Green Low Economy

Last June 5 to 10, 2014, Psychology Volunteers on Bikes External Relations Officer Monica Manluluyo attended the 2014 International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability. The 6-day conference was held in Tongji University, Shanghai, China where experts on environment, energy, urban development and economy discussed regional and global ecological civilization and green development in the new age together with participants around the world.

a1176372-bc6d-4fd1-8eb9-d399e2fb2e0bDr. Dong Zhanfeng is the Expert of Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning (CAEP) directly under the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP). He is mainly engaged in environmental economics, green economy, environmental strategy and policy, environmental performance evaluation and management et al. He is a PI of China Environmental Performance Assessment and Management Program, and the deputy team leader and secretary-general of National Environmental Economic Policy Research and Pilot Program. During the 2014 International Student Conference on Environment and Sustainability: Symposium on Energy Transition and Climate Change held last June 5, 2014 at Tongji University, Shanghai, China, he spoke about Environmental Protection and Addressing Climate Change.

China is labelled as a country with high carbon emissions and heavy pollution. As such, there is a need for a synergistic strategy to address climate and environmental problems. Combustion of fossil fuels, traffic, agriculture and the growing industrial sector all contribute to the release of greenhouse gases, and the rise of temperature levels caused by these factors makes it a necessity to control GHG and pollutants. To lessen the dependency of the country on fossil fuels, China has gone towards a cheaper alternative – coal – and the consumption of coal in China amounts to 50% of the whole world.

Pollutant source Global climate change effect
On-road mobile (ex: trains) Major
Electricity production Major
Off-road mobile Medium
Consumer activities Medium
Industrial activities Medium
Refrigeration/Cooling Medium
Agricultural activities Medium
Commercial activities Small

The table above shows the different sources of pollutants in China and its effect on global climate change. As we can see, on-road mobiles and electricity production contribute the most to climate change while commercial activities contribute the smallest.

China wants to move towards being a greener and more sustainable nation. However, there are barriers to a Low Carbon and Environment-friendly Development Pathway. These are 1) Government interventions: presence of perverse policies and absence of policy incentives due to social concerns as well as the policy makers’ lack of implementation capacity; 2) Private sector capacity: limited access to energy efficient and environment-friendly technologies; and 3) Financial Support Systems: shortage of readily available finances.

To address the pressing environmental problems faced by the country, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Strategic Plan Integrated with Climate Change was established (2009-2014) with the theme “To protect nature is to protect climate”. The challenge of applying synergistic strategy comes in through the promotion of the harmonious development of the 3E (Energy, Economy and Environment) system under a sustainable development framework.

The decoupling principle is also another method used by the Chinese in their strategy plan. Decoupling is the prevention of undesired energy transfer between electronic media. This is also the method used in the Germany Energy Concept as presented by Prof. Dr. Hennicke.