PAGE and its partner, the Policy Research Center of Environment and Economy (PRCEE) of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), organized an international seminar on Green Industrial Parks to exemplify good practices and lessons learnt from Jiangsu province.
The event featured the official launch of two PAGE reports – Green Transformation of Industrial Parks in China’s Jiangsu Province: A Synthesis Report and Measuring the Green Industry Progress of 18 Provinces in China – offering respectively a micro and macro perspective on the role of green policy instruments in China’s economic transition and the green transformation of industrial parks in China.
China is at a critical moment: its economy is transitioning from a high-speed development model towards a high-quality sustainable development model that addresses environmental degradation and improves the working and living conditions of billions of people.
“China, with a most comprehensive industrial system of scale in the world economy, has a unique opportunity to transform its industrial structure into a more sustainable model through the greening of our industrial parks”, said Wu Shunze, Director-General of Policy Research Center of Environment and Economy (PRCEE) of Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) in China.
In 2015, China joined PAGE at the provincial level in Jiangsu. Since then, PAGE has worked with the government of China and other stakeholders to strengthen measurements of green economy progress at the sub-national level, and to advise and improve sectoral policy in the areas of green industrial development and green trade. In 2017, the second phase of PAGE in Jiangsu was launched with a focus on green industrial transition and policy coordination in Jiangsu, particularly at the industrial park level.
In recent years, Jiangsu has seen growing momentum towards the promotion of green and eco- industrial parks, which feature higher level technology, and lower levels of resource consumption and pollution.
Accordingly, the seminar looked at how the Jiangsu experience could inform work on industrial parks in other provinces of China. The two reports findings, policy recommendations and the further application of the PAGE Jiangsu assessments were discussed by PRCEE and UNIDO experts, senior representatives from the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and MEE and industrial park experts. Mr. Guo Fengyuan of MIIT commented that the PAGE Jiangsu Report offers a good baseline and reference to inform the national standards for green industrial parks currently being formulated by MIIT.
The two-day workshop also served as a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogues and cooperation. Specialists from UNIDO, leading PAGE agency in the industrial development sector, shared invaluable perspectives on an international framework of eco-industrial parks, as well as an initial assessment of applying the global framework at selected Jiangsu parks. The role of green jobs in supporting the just transition at industrial parks was highlighted by Cristina Martinez, ILO Senior Specialist on environment and decent work. A PAGE China working group on Promoting Green Jobs through Social Dialogues has been formed, following a successful inception meeting with key national and provincial stakeholders including the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MoHRSS) in April 2019. Experiences were also shared by senior experts representing the Governments of Cambodia and Vietnam.
Home to more industrial parks than in the rest of the world combined, China’s experience and lessons learnt are worth sharing with other countries facing similar challenges in the green industrial transition. Under the framework of south-south cooperation, these reports will be further disseminated to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and better direct policy and technical assistance to other countries, as well as to inform global eco-park guidelines.
As noted at the launch event by Tim Scott, UNDP Senior Policy Advisor on Environment:
“Through forums such as this workshop, PAGE and the UN are facilitating South-South learning between the Governments of China, Cambodia, and Vietnam, as well as leading experts representing industrial parks and the private sector, universities, research institutes, and other international organizations. Eco-industrial parks are critical to advancing inclusive green economy approaches and broader efforts to accelerate progress on the SDGs and China’s closely aligned vision for an ecological civilization.”
Green Transformation of Industrial Parks in China’s Jiangsu Province: A Synthesis Report
Jiangsu has been leading the development of industrial parks, which are a major force for industrial development over the past decades, and has accumulated valuable experiences in the green transformation of its parks.
Through quantitative measurement and analysis of three typical industrial parks located in the southern, central and northern regions of Jiangsu Province, this report assesses the green transformation progress made in the province based on a comprehensive framework comprising 26 indicators addressing economic, environment, and social issues, as well as energy and resources efficiency and park management performance.
The report also identifies key challenges and policy gaps at the park level and puts forward a set of policy guidelines to inform future policy making concerning the green development of industrial parks in Jiangsu and beyond.
In particular, the report calls for an integrated approach for strategic planning, and coordinated green industrial policies, as well as strengthened park management for driving higher levels of green transformation.
Measuring the Green Industry Progress of 18 Provinces in China
In support of China’s vision for green industrialization, as outlined in the national development plan, the “13th Five-Year Plan”, UNIDO constructed a Green Industry Progress (GIPro) index to measure the green industrial progress made in 18 highly industrialized provinces in China, including Jiangsu.
Using data collected from the period 2006-2015, the study offers a multidimensional perspective and comparison among various provinces by combining seven indicators related to the economic, social and environment aspects of parks into a GIPro index.
The report finds that 14 out of 18 provinces achieved overall progress in their transition towards green industrialization during the designated period. All provinces perform positively on the indicators of energy and water intensity, while only five provinces improved the performance on hazardous waste reduction.
The report also identifies the leading factors of change and highlights priority areas for further improvement, such as green industrial employment or hazardous waste. By applying quantitative tools for analysis, including a robust set of indicators, this report displays a picture of advancement, identifies major areas of improvement, formulates appropriate policy responses for government consideration and assesses the potential policy impact.
Full report: English