PAGE launched the second phase of the project “Transition to a Green Economy in China’s Jiangsu Province” in Nanjing on 15 September 2017. Since 2015, PAGE partner agencies have been engaging with local stakeholders on advancing the provincial level green economy research. The ‘Jiangsu Green Economy Transition Stocktaking Report’ was published in June 2016, summarizing the progress made thus far and challenges faced during Jiangsu’s transition towards green economy.
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 with the objectives to:
– Conduct case studies of industrial parks highlighting the success stories and lessons learnt in Jiangsu
– Develop a framework of applicable indicators for measuring the progress of green transition of industrial parks
– Put forward recommendations and transition pathways for Jiangsu industrial park
– Promote the Jiangsu experience of green industrial transition and share among other provinces in China and aboard
The launch event was attended by more than 40 participants including experts and representatives from PRCEE, UN PAGE agencies, NDRC, MIIT, CRAES, Nanjing University, joined by the provincial level inter-departmental officials responsible for Environmental Protection, Development and Reform, Economic and Communication, Technology and Commerce affairs in Jiangsu.
Presentations were given on topics including:
– Review of the phase I activities and achievement, and the objectives, priority and expected outcomes for phase II;
– Ongoing initiatives for greening industrial parks, including different national and provincial approaches, such as “Green Industrial Parks” led by MIIT, the “Ecological Industrial Parks” jointly led by MEP, MOFCOM and MOST, the “Circular Upgrade of Industrial Parks” led by NDRC and the “Low-Carbon Industrial Parks” led by NDRC and MIIT;
– Tools, instrument and knowledge products developed by PAGE to facilitate green industrial transition at a global level, such as a publication entitled “Green Industrial Policy: Concept, policies, country experiences”(GIP) and a, Practitioner’s Guide for Strategic Green Industrial Policymaking (SGIP);
– More specifically, two pilot studies carried out by PAGE agencies and partners were presented to the audience: UNIDO’s work on a Green Industrial Progress Index in China and a joint study by UN Environment and Nanjing University on Jiangsu Provincial Green Economy Progress (GEP) Indicators.
Following the presentation, participants had a fruitful and informative discussion on the key challenges faced in implementing circular economy and cleaner production practices in industrial parks. While the Chinese model of “promoting industrial parks” represents a valuable instrument in stimulating economic growth on limited land resources, it also gives rise to enormous challenges in resource efficiency and pollution. In particular, several concerns are highlighted during the discussion: (1) weak environmental rules and regulations and weak enforcement of environmental permits and EIA, (2) further coordination among various ministries is needed to collect, publish and standardize the environmental data at industrial park level; (3) further policy innovation is needed to strengthen environmental management, especially on green investment /finance and central risk management.
After an extensive stakeholder consultation, the following five suggestions are proposed to inform the design and implementation of phase II of PAGE Jiangsu:
(1) To establish a mechanism for facilitating the green transition of industrial parks, focusing on policy guidance and market-based innovation
(2) To further leverage the concept of “circular economy” and “ecological upgrade” in promoting the green transition of industrial parks
(3) To better define the existing terminologies that apply in greening the industrial parks and establish linkage among concepts of “ecological, low-carbon and circular”.
(4) To promote the establishment of a provincial-level green industrial park network (platform) to share experience and expertise
(5) To build a comprehensive indicator framework, covering economic, environmental and social aspects of the green transition progress of industrial parks for a systematic evaluation.
Site visit by PAGE team to Suzhon industrial park
Prior to the launch event, the PAGE Jiangsu project team went on a field trip to Suzhou Industrial Park, a national pilot of an ecological industrial park, to learn about a number of good practices in water resource efficiency, renewable energy (wind, solar) deployment and filter gardens. In the meeting with the management team of Suzhou Industrial Park, the PAGE project team also discussed Suzhou Industrial Park’s efforts to transition towards a greener industrial structure and experiment a mix of fiscal and resource pricing policies to stimulate green practices. The chief of environmental protection bureau of Suzhou Industrial Park also expressed interest to learn from relevant international experiences and practices through PAGE.
The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) was launched in 2013 as a response to the call at Rio+20 to support those countries wishing to embark on greener and more inclusive growth trajectories. With the ambition to support the green transition of 30 countries towards a fair, sustainable economy by 2020, PAGE brings together five UN agencies (UN Environment, ILO, UNIDO, UNITAR and UNDP) and inspires, informs and enables countries in their capacity of green economy policymaking through developing IGE tools and instruments, supporting capacity building and facilitating knowledge sharing.
In December 2014, China became the 8th member country to join PAGE with the official adoption of Jiangsu Province. Together with the Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy (PRCEE) under the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the provincial government of Jiangsu, PAGE has carried out a stocktaking research project to identify the good practices, challenges as well as priority areas in Jiangsu’s transition to a green economy. A ‘Jiangsu Green Economy Transition Stocktaking Report’ was published in June 2016. Inspired by PAGE Jiangsu activities, other cities in China such as Dongying city have proactively put their focus on a green economy transition.
List of Abbreviations
PRCEE – Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy, China
NDRC – National Development and Reform Commission in China
MIIT – Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China
CRAES – Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences
MEP – Ministry of Environmental Protection, China
MOFCOM – Ministry of Commerce, China
MOST – Ministry of Science and Technology, China
UNIDO – United Nations Industrial Development Organization
ILO – International Labor Organization
UNITAR – United Nations Institute for Training and Research
UNDP – UN Development Program