As one of the first eight low-carbon pilot cities in China, Shenzhen has always taken the lead and has made low-carbon development as an important element for its economic transition and upgrading. By upholding innovation, emphasizing coordination, advocating green development, strengthening opening up and promoting sharing economy, Shenzhen has made efforts to tackle the underlying problems in its development and accomplish higher-quality, more efficient, fairer and more sustainable development.
Its green and low-carbon economy includes six highlights as follows:
First, its energy structure has been continuously optimized. The oil substitution strategy focusing on the introduction of natural gas has begun to pay off. The supply channels of natural gas have been constantly expanded. By the end of 2016, a total of 5786.2 kilometers of natural gas pipelines have been built in the city, of which 373 kilometers are high-pressure, 196.2 kilometers are sub-high-pressure and 5217 kilometers are medium-pressure pipelines, and the number of pipeline natural gas users has reached 1.73 million. Shenzhen’s installed power source and power consumption structure have been constantly optimized. As of the end of 2016, its total installed capacity has reached 13.06 million kilowatt and the capacity of clean power sources such as nuclear power and gas power has accounted for 85.37% of Shenzhen’s total installed capacity. Its renewable energy has been developing rapidly. For example, it has vigorously developed the biomass energy and has started to build the main parts of 3 large-scale waste treatment facilities including the Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant, Phase III of Laohukeng Waste Incineration Power Generation Plant and Mawan Urban Energy Ecopark.
Second, the low-carbon features of Shenzhen’s industries have become increasingly obvious. The emerging low-carbon industries have grown rapidly. Shenzhen has grasped in a scientific way the emphasis and intensity of the low-carbon transition under the new normal state, giving more play to the emerging low-carbon industries in terms of stabilizing growth, readjusting structure and facilitating transition. The added value of the strategic emerging industries and the future industries is around 780 billion yuan (US$ 116 billion) in 2016, accounting for more than 40 percent of its GDP. Its modern service industry has developed rapidly. Focusing on improving the economic development quality and effectively reducing the carbon emission level, Shenzhen has striven to improve the development level of its service industry. The service industry accounts for more than 60 percent of its GDP in 2016, of which the modern service industry accounts for over 70 percent. Its financial industry has developed steadily, realizing the added value of 285 billion yuan. The low-carbon transition of traditional industries has continuously accelerated. The competitive traditional industries such as clothing, timepiece and gold and jewelry are gradually focusing more on R&D, design and other high-end links.
Third, breakthroughs have been made in low-carbon transportation and green buildings. Shenzhen has put great efforts in promoting green buildings. It has fully carried out the Green Building Action Plan of the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the Measures for the Implementation of Green Building Action Plan in Guangdong Province and the Measures for the Promotion of Green Building Action Plan in Shenzhen Municipality and fully implemented the green building standards in the newly-built civil buildings. With a total of 21.99 million square meters’ newly added area of green buildings, the accumulative area of green buildings in Shenzhen has exceeded 55 million square meters. In this aspect, Shenzhen continues to rank on the front among the big cities in China. Its low-carbon transportation network has been further improved. The operation of Shenzhen Metro Lines 7, 9 and 11 brings the mileage of the city’s urban rail transit to 285 kilometers, ranking it among top 10 around the world in the scale of line network. 150 public traffic routes have been optimized and the bus to motorized commutes ratio has increased to 56.5 percent has increased to 56.5 percent. Shenzhen has also achieved notable results in the popularization of new energy automobile. It has issued the 2016-2020 Work Plan of Shenzhen for Promoting the Use of New-energy Vehicles and the 2016 Financial Support Policy of Shenzhen for Promoting the Use of New-energy Vehicles. It has popularized 37,831 new-energy vehicles, including 10,054 pure electric buses, 3,001 pure electric taxis, 2,345 pure electric logistic vehicles, 452 new-energy commuting buses, 20,760 new-energy private cars, 1,102 new-energy leasing cars and 117 new energy vehicles of other kinds, ranking among the top of China. It is planned that the city will only use purely electric buses for public transportation in three years. Besides, it is home to 142 newly built centralized charging stations, about 3,745 rapid charging piles and 7,021 slow charging piles. It has also boosted the construction of green harbors and built the shore power facilities which cover 9 berths.
Fourth, the pilot program of carbon emission right trading has been smoothly pushed forward. Shenzhen has optimized the carbon trading quota distribution system. In consideration of the problems in the original distribution method based on competitive game and the needs for connection with the national carbon market distribution method, Shenzhen has adjusted the 2016 quota distribution method for controlled enterprises as the distribution method based on the advancement of carbon intensity. According to such method, it issued the carbon intensity target for its controlled enterprises in 2016. It has included 246 Shenzhen-based enterprises, whose annual carbon emissions exceed 3000 tons of CO₂ equivalents, into the scope of carbon emission control, increasing the number of entities under carbon emission control to 824. Among the newly included enterprises are 10 enterprises in the traffic industries such as airport, metro, port and public transport, officially launching the carbon trading in transportation. Currently, the carbon trading market of Shenzhen are very active. As of Dec. 31, 2016, the carbon market of Shenzhen has recorded a total volume of 18.07 million tons of quotas and a gross turnover of 596 million yuan, with the average market price maintaining at 33 yuan per ton, ranking on the front of the country. Shenzhen has done its part in preparing for the construction of the national carbon market. With the support of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s first “National Carbon Market Capacity Construction Center” was established in Shenzhen. The “Shenzhen Center” has served as a platform and provided training on the carbon trading of the NDRC system to over 3000 people from 13 non-pilot provinces and municipalities including Henan, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou and Xinjiang. Shenzhen has taken the lead in the exploration of forging China’s first trans-regional carbon trading market.
Fifth, Shenzhen has made progress in the construction of the International Low-Carbon City (ILCC). It has launched and steadily pushed ahead the construction of municipal roads, sticking to the idea of leading the industrial development through innovation and centering on promoting the R&D, application and industrialization development of low-carbon technologies. ILCC has successfully introduced a number of projects which represent the future strategic emerging industries, such as “Belt and Road” Environmental Technology Exchange and Transfer Center, Shenzhen-Melbourne Engineering Institute of Life and Health, Royole International Flexible Display Base Project, Huande China EU Future City, International Low-Carbon City Project of Overseas Chinese Town, FND Air Water Machine, Coolead Energy Efficiency Technology, Qiantai Energy Regeneration Technology and Aixiang Technology. The Space Technology Institute of Southern China has successfully carried out the “Green Interplanetary Spaceflight”—4-Subject 180-Day Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) Integration Experiment. The China-US Experiment Center for Low-Carbon Construction and Community Innovation has officially started construction, initially forming many links that cover R&D, design and technical platform of the low-carbon industry.
Sixth, the basic capability building has been constantly strengthened. In accordance with the National Plan on Climate Change (2014-2020) and the Outline of the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan of Shenzhen for National Economy and Social Development, Shenzhen has compiled its 13th Five-Year Plan in Response to Climate Change, which has become the guidance document and action program of Shenzhen for alleviating and adapting to climate change during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. It has preliminarily completed the compilation of the greenhouse gas emission inventory. The Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen took the lead in the overall planning for the compilation of the greenhouse gas emission inventory and the relevant departments of Shenzhen, including the Economic and Trade Information Commission, Urban Planning, Land and Resources Commission, Human Settlement and Environment Commission, Transport Commission, Housing and Construction Bureau, Water Resources Bureau, Statistics Bureau, Urban Management Bureau and Government Offices Administration of Shenzhen Municipality, and other related enterprises and industry associations, provided relevant data and materials for the effort. The initial compilation of the 2012-2015 Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory of Shenzhen has been finished.