Partnerships vital to greening of growth in China, ADB

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KUNMING, China (our reporter ):- Success in pursuing initiatives for greening of development in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) rests largely on partnerships with various stakeholders, according to a new book launched today by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Effective collaboration will help fully test the potential of new tools such as eco-compensation, technological innovation and boost governance, reforms, and institutional strengthening, according to the book, Greening Development in the People’s Republic of China: A Dynamic Partnership with the Asian Development Bank.

The book showcases the PRC’s efforts to promote green development and ecological restoration as well as accomplishments resulting from its partnership with ADB. ADB launched the publication today at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, the PRC.

“As highlighted throughout this publication, the long-standing partnership between ADB and the PRC has contributed to transforming the country’s development agenda to focus more on quality and sustainability,” ADB Director General for East Asia Teresa Kho said at the launch. “China’s cutting-edge initiatives on environment and development as well as experiences from our partnership provide important lessons and replicable practices for ADB and its developing member countries, but also for the global community.”

The publication traces how, over the years, the PRC has adopted valuable experimentation and piloting to create new tools for advancing green growth, eco-efficiency, protection of nature, pollution control, and use of information technology and digitalization.

Meanwhile, over the last 35 years, the partnership between ADB and the PRC has evolved. It now focuses on supporting a range of green investments and interventions with a long-term programmatic approach, often encompassing large geographic areas. Over the past decade, the partnership has transformed to prioritize greener, more environmentally sustainable development.

Between 2011 and 2020, 92% of projects financed by ADB in the PRC helped support environmentally sustainable development. ADB’s new country partnership strategy (CPS) for the PRC covering 2021–2025 supports government efforts to achieve high-quality, green development in line with the 14th Five-Year Plan. The new CPS focuses on three main pillars: environmentally sustainable development, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and aging society and health security.

The four areas of collaboration that have emerged over the past decade will remain partnership priorities—enhancing environmental protection and ecological conservation, transforming the rural economy, developing green livable cities, and investing in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

In the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Yellow River Ecological Corridor, the PRC—ADB partnership focuses on ecosystem conservation, an integrated transport corridor, institutional strengthening, and policy reforms to reduce depletion of natural resources by pollution and overexploitation. ADB also has a long history of working with the PRC in addressing climate change, including multiyear support for reducing air pollution in the greater Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region.

Green and sustainable rural development is the best way to secure ecological safety for all parts of the PRC, the book concludes. “What the PRC does, or does not do, will have an immense impact on the future directions on climate change, ecological conservation, environmental and biodiversity degradation, balanced rural–urban development, and economic equality at the national, regional, and global levels,” it says.

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