As the global climate is becoming increasingly grim, people are becoming aware of the adverse influence imposed by the past way of life on the environment. Low-carbon and green lifestyles and consumption patterns are gradually being accepted, and countries around the world are working to find their own pathway to green development.
In recent years, the Chinese government has attached great importance to taking actions in response to climate change, while the development of low-carbon cities has entered an accelerated phase in China. Since 2012, a total of 42 pilot low-carbon provinces and cities have been launched. According to the plan, China will have 100 pilot low-carbon cities in the future.
A low-carbon city includes five features.
The first one is low-carbon development of its economy, which means maximum economic output with minimum use of resources and energy. That is, the economic development is highly efficient and intensive. It promotes the rapid development of strategic emerging industries and enhance the quality and benefits of economic development.
The second one is comprehensive low-carbon technology. Low-carbon technology refers to advanced technology that is conducive to promoting clean energy development, improving energy efficiency and ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Low-carbon technology is widely applied in green buildings, low-carbon transportation and other aspects of low-carbon development. Creating an advanced, comprehensive and efficient technology system is an important support for the development of low-carbon cities.
The third feature is a favorable ecological environment. The fundamental goal of low-carbon development is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate and solve climate change issues, achieve sustainable economic and social development, enjoy sufficient forest resources and high green coverage, give full play to the forest ecosystem's role in carbon fixation, increase natural carbon sinks, mitigate climate change, and create a favorable ecological environment.
The fourth feature is a complete set of low-carbon policies, which involves many aspects, such as low-carbon legislation, low-carbon planning, industrial orientation, government revenues and taxation, and price levers. They serve as an important premise for promoting the development of low-carbon cities. The formulation and implementation of policies requires the extensive participation of the government, enterprises and the whole society.
The fifth feature is a low-carbon lifestyle. The consumption concept and lifestyle of residents have a crucial impact on urban carbon emissions. Efforts including promotion of green, energy saving and environmental protection products, green travel, implementation of waste sorting and recycling can help shape low-carbon consumption habits, achieve low-carbon lifestyles, facilitate the efficient use of energy, and ultimately reduce urban carbon emissions.