UNDP Human Development Report for China Focuses on Low Carbon Economy and Sustainability
15 December 2009: The preliminary findings of the 2009/2010 China Human Development Report for China, entitled "Towards a Low Carbon Economy and Sustainable Society," were presented during a side event hosted by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) during the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.
The conclusions from the report, which is being developed by UNDP in China and the Renmin University, are expected to feed into the national debate on energy efficiency in industry and buildings, as well as in the implementation of the Chinese National Climate Change Policy. The report's key findings include evidence that more economically advanced provinces in China are the least carbon intensive, while those with lower income and human development indicators tend to have higher carbon emissions patterns. The report makes explicit that human development does not necessarily have to lead to increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
It is estimated that by 2030, 350 million more people will live in Chinese cities as compared to 2005. While rapid urbanization poses a challenge in terms of sustainability, the existing experiences and technologies available in China can be applied to meet the needs of economic progress and environmental protection towards a green and low-carbon economy.
Participants in the side event included: Xie Zhenhua, Vice-Chair of China's National Development and Reform Commission and Head of the Chinese Delegation; Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California; Zhao Baige, Vice-Minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission in China; Erik Solheim, Minister of Environment and Development for the Government of Norway; Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator; and Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).[UNDP Press Release][Key Findings of the Report]