China, Jiangsu Province


Located on the eastern coast of China, Jiangsu province is home to around 80 million people and is one of the most technologically advanced provinces in the country. Situated in the Yangtze Delta, characterized by a dense network of rivers, lakes and waterways, Jiangsu has a strong natural resource base. With a total GDP of 1.2 trillion USD in 2017 (China NBS Data, 2018), it ranks as the second richest and the most developed province of China with an HDI of 0.798 in 2014 ("China National Human Development Report 2016", UNDP, 2016), ranking fourth in China. However, the province faces some emerging challenges such as high population density, environmental degradation, and a reliance on heavy industry.

China’s 13th Five-Year plan (2016-2020) has placed green development as one of the top national priorities, which indicates a clear development direction for provincial governments to implement. To maintain its competitiveness and achieve inclusive development for its citizens, Jiangsu has already committed to advancing inclusive green economy for the past decade, through policy development and green economy action. The provincial 13th Five-Year Plan in Jiangsu also proposed a green development approach for building a resource-efficient and environment-friendly society that will enable inclusive growth in Jiangsu.

Through PAGE’s support, Jiangsu Province of China aims to identify and exemplify successes and good practices at the policy, business, and sub-provincial levels to inspire other provinces and countries; and to identify and analyze major challenges to inclusive green economy policy implementation. A network of partners has been established to provide inputs and support for project and programme planning and implementation, including national and provincial partners, such as the  Provincial Environmental Protection  Department, Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy (PRCEE of MEE), Nanjing University, Research Institute for Global Value Chain (RIGVC)  as well as international partners such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

In China, Jiangsu Province, PAGE is contributing towards the achievement of SDG 4 (Quality Education),  SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 12 (Sustainable consumption and production), SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).


PROGRESS 2016         |         PROGRESS 2017        |        PROGRESS 2018 

Supporting the implementation of green economy elements by identifying challenges and opportunities

Supporting the implementation of green economy elements by identifying challenges and opportunities

Policies and sectoral plans to advance ecological civilisation –  Chinese terminology used for green economy related policies –   are well advanced in the Jiangsu province of China, and PAGE is providing support to identify challenges and bottlenecks to implement the existing policies and instruments.

To support Jiangsu’s transition to a green economy, a stocktaking report for China’s Jiangsu province was launched in June 2016, which served as a launch pad for the local government, national institutes and PAGE.

Following the efforts of the phase I of PAGE Jiangsu project, in 2017, PAGE and PRCEE (Policy Research Centre for Environment and Economy) jointly launched the PAGE China (phase II) activities in Nanjing, bringing together a broad mix of key actors. Building upon the main findings from phase I, the phase II of PAGE Jiangsu project sets its focus on the green transition of industrial parks in Jiangsu.

PAGE also helped to strengthen and secure inter-departmental partnership and cross-sector support by facilitating an inter-departmental dialogue session on green economy indicators among ministries and provincial policymakers. This accelerated the province’s process of establishing inter-departmental steering committee with members from national government and provincial governments and civil society. 

To help provincial policymakers monitor progress against set targets of green economy transition in priority areas, PAGE provided technical and financial support for the development and local adaptation of a Green Economy Progress (GEP) Indicators Measurement Framework at provincial level in Jiangsu.

Evidence-based sectoral and thematic reforms

Evidence-based sectoral and thematic reforms

As requested by the provincial government, PAGE focuses on measuring green performance at the level of industrial parks. Firstly,PAGE is applying and testing two existing performance measurement methodologies in 10 industrial parks across Jiangsu. Secondly, PAGE is developing a green performance measurement tool, which will be presented to the provincial government across the province. Finally, PAGE is fostering a network of green industrial parks in Jiangsu to enhance the experience sharing and promotion of good practices and models in Jiangsu to a wider audience both in China and abroad.

PAGE’s key implementing partner the Policy Research Centre for Environment and Economy (PRCEE) under the Ministry of Ecology and Environment in China—has started promoting the green transition of industrial parks. Specifically, PRCEE, with support from PAGE, has developed a Jiangsu Green Industrial Park Assessment Study and Policy Guideline to take stock of the key policy instruments catalysing green transformation at the park level and to inform industrial park administrators and responsible ministries on best practices and lessons learned.

Complementary to PAGE, UNIDO, with the support from the Beijing Institute of Technology, has developed a Green Industry Progress (GIP) index for Jiangsu province to complement the UN Environment’s Green Economy Progress Index for Jiangsu. The GIP index measures the green industry development progress in China’s 18 highly industrialized provinces, including Jiangsu. A final assessment report is under preparation to highlight priorities in China’s green industrialization process.

Finally, PAGE launched a green trade project to build new partnerships with the trade and investment community and to provide a platform for experience sharing and peer learning. The green trade project also helped to get private sector partners on-board with PAGE.

With Jiangsu being one of the biggest clusters for solar energy and textile products, PAGE conducted a study on south-south trade in environmental goods and services and collaborated with the Research Institute for Global Value Chain (RIGVC) for a baseline assessment of sustainable textile trade and value chains in Jiangsu. The studies provided the basis for multi-sectoral workshops and trainings on trade in environmentally-sound technologies and sustainable textile value chains, and also summarized good practices later shared at international events such as the UN Forum on Sustainability Standards and UN Economic Commission for Europe meetings



PAGE organized a provincial green economy academy in 2017 that brought Jiangsu policymakers and front-line environmental bureau officers from seven Jiangsu municipalities together to discuss social inclusiveness, the green development potential and strategies, modelling and indicator tools, and the application of natural capital accounting in green development planning.

 PAGE’s work also strengthened the institutional capacity of Nanjing University. To provide evidence-based policy analysis and advisory to the provincial policymakers. Nanjing University is committed to host a dedicated database on Jiangsu’s green economy progress, to conduct regular assessment in the coming years, and to foster a GEP learning network among interested university partners in other provinces.

 Stakeholders also learned about implementation opportunities for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly around poverty-environment mainstreaming and social inclusion, including strategies and actions that promote pro-poor environmentally sustainable development policies, plans and programmes at national and sub-regional level.

PAGE also offered local textile producers, exporters, retailers and policymakers a chance to share experience and good practice of investing in green innovation, applying low-carbon production method and circular economy approaches, engaging employees and suppliers in managing sustainability, improving the resource efficiency of water and raw materials, as well as disclosing environmental information and improving transparency in chemicals. This training was organized by the Environment and Trade Hub, under PAGE and in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Suzhou Bureau of Commerce.

Unlocking South-South Trade in Environmental Goods and Services in Jiangsu Province, China (Technical Note)

As part of the PAGE framework, and in response to the request from the local government, the Environment and Trade Hub of UN Environment initiated the project titled The Role of Trade in the Transition to a Green Economy in Jiangsu, China. As part of the project, this Technical Note aims to take stock of Jiangsu’s trade with developing countries in Environmental Goods and Services, summarize good practices, while exploring opportunities and challenges to further unlock trade in this area, as a way to accelerate Jiangsu’s transition to an Inclusive Green Economy. Read this report here