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Liu Shijin

Reformulating the low-carbon green growth strategy in China

2015-12-09

YONGSHENG ZHANG

The Development Research Center of the State Council, 225 Chaoyangmen Nei Dajie, Beijing 100010, People's Republic of China

This synthesis article reviews China's efforts and effects concerning low-carbon green growth (LCGG) and explores the policy implications of reformulating the country's LCGG strategy. The article first reviews China's efforts in four major areas – carbon mitigation, market construction, fostering green industries, and managing the negative effects ofLCGG – and then reviews China's LCGG effects with respect to the growth effect and the low-carbon effect. The results show that the increasingly stringent lowcarbon policy has not diminished the country's economic growth as some had expected. Rather, the policy has fostered green industries and brought impressive quality improvements, including structural change and increased employment. Although the efforts and effects in China are impressive, the global emissions reduction is far from sufficient to achieve the global climate change target. To solve the problem of global climate change and seize the opportunity of green growth, China must reformulate its LCGG strategy, not just enhancing its existing LCGG efforts, but more importantly, rethinking the purpose of development and shifting its development paradigm from one that is highly gross domestic product (GDP)-oriented to one that is well-being-oriented.

Policy relevance

China must reformulate its LCGG strategy on two levels. First, China must enhance its existing efforts. Second, China should learn lessons from the industrial countries and reformulate its development model to one that is well-being-oriented to establish a more forward-looking green growth model in the new context of the Internet era. The time is now ripe for China to make a strategic transition. The 13th Five-Year Plan (FYP, 2016 to 2020) provides an opportunity for a more fundamental change in LCGG strategy. If China could succeed in exploring LCGG, it would make a significant contribution to the whole world.

Keywords: China; development paradigm shift; green growth; low carbonJEL code: O44; Q28; Q20; Q32; Q54

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