China (Jiangsu province) delegation attends the 2019 Academy on Green Economy

13-18 October 2019, Turin, Italy - The International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITCILO) held its 3rd Global Academy on the Green Economy. The six-day event gathered 105 participants from government ministries, civil society organizations, trade unions, employers’ organizations, business, and research institutes, among others. Following the successful implementation of the first and second editions of the Academy in 2014 and 2016, this year's Academy boosted delivery and knowledge sharing across partner countries and organizations.

This year, the Chinese delegates participating the Academy are from Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy (PRCEE) of MEE, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MoHRSS) and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

In the opening speech, Mr. Yanguo Liu, Director of ITCILO, pointed out five key focuses for the transition to an Inclusive Green Economy: green economy and sustainable development policy tools, green jobs and just transitions, green industrial development, green economy financing, and skills development for these aspects.

At an activity during the opening panel, Ms. Yunfang Hu from MEE shared with the participants the development of solar energy in China. By the end of 2018, the total installed capacity of photovoltaic (PV) in China reached 174 GW, with an increase of 44.26 GW, ranking first in the world in both total and increase. Also in 2018, the photovoltaic power generation in China is 177.5 TWh, ranking first in the world.

In the plenary session 1, Greening with Jobs: A Just Transition to Environmental Sustainability, Ms. Bin Liang from MoHRSS shared an example of the green transition of steel and iron industry in China. To ensure a just transition for all and leave no one behind, three major actions were taken targeting the employees who lost their job due to the transition. The first action was to re-allocate them internally within the group. Secondly, those who did not possess the necessary skills to switch to a new job outside the group can receive specific trainings according to their needs. Thirdly, those who have reached a certain level of seniority can go through an early retirement program with secured pensions.

In the elective session 3.2, Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Policies, Mr. Yong Wang from PRCEE shared PAGE China’s work in greening industrial parks in Jiangsu Province. The assessment concludes that achievements in environmental protection have contributed strongly to the progress of green transition. Despite the progress, the dependence on chemical industry has resulted in an undesirable energy structure and pollution. This calls for special attention to the green transition of chemical industrial parks.

In the elective session 3.3, Green Technology Promotion through Policy Instruments, Mr. Haoming Ouyang from MIIT gave a presentation on the latest progress of industrial green development in China. With the enhanced awareness of Ecological Civilization Construction, the overarching national policy on green development in China, the industrial structure and energy consumption mix have been optimized. Focuses include the improvement in industrial energy, water and resource efficiency, the promotion of industrial clean production and green manufacturing system, as well as the facilitation of international cooperation.

In addition, UNIDO colleague, Mr. Abu Saieed, used evidence from 18 Chinese provinces to illustrate the Green Industry Progress (GIPro) in China. The GIPro index shows some provinces achieved overall progress in their transition towards green industrialization over the period 2006-2015, yet some experienced regress. This report offers policy recommendations pinpointing the indicators that need to be improved, e.g. green industrial employment or hazardous waste intensity.

In the last plenary session, Financing for Inclusive Green Economies, Mr. Yong Wang from PRCEE shared China’s breakthrough in establishing the green financial system, including the expansion of market size of green financial products and the establishment of pilot zones. In order to further scale up the financing system, it is necessary to tailor the green finance development plan to local conditions, unify the standards of green finance and enhance environmental information transparency through regulating environmental information disclosure of listed companies.

Prior to the official start of the Academy, PAGE organized a whole-day workshop for national coordinators on 13 Oct. This session opened space to develop peer-to-peer cooperation on the theme of their choice, which incentivized the national coordinators to take the first steps towards further discussions as well as a broader exchange of information.

The PAGE China coordinator, Mr. Chengchen Qian, shared experience of South-South and Triangular Cooperation between China and Kyrgyzstan. The latter is specially interested in the textile industry along the value chain in China. And it has hence planed a tentative study tour to China in December to attend the International Forum on Green Development in Chengdu. Inspired by this successful story, Kazakhstan also saw the potential and expressed their interest, considering their focus on the industrial energy efficiency.

This third edition of the Academy has not only promoted but also solidified the delivery, action and  knowledge  sharing  in the  transition  to environmentally  sustainable  and  socially  inclusive  economies across  countries  and organizations involved. At the end of the Academy, participants have gained in-depth understanding of suitable approaches and tested tools practices that would contribute to achieving long term impacts in the framework of national sustainable development strategies.

These specifically concern formulating and implementing green economy policies, as well as strategies at national level in key economic sectors, which help keeping up with new orientations of markets,  government  policies  and  social  aspirations. These have no doubt increased the participants’ capacity to identify and build on opportunities for the promotion of a socially inclusive green economy.