Monday, July 22, 2024

Chinese researchers: Comprehensive measures needed to build beautiful China

BEIJING, May 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from on the measures proposed for China’s green and high-quality development:

There is still a clear gap between the reality and the vision for building a beautiful China in an all-round way in which humanity and nature coexist in harmony and more comprehensive measures are needed. Chinese researchers, Zhu Huiyi, Yang Linsheng, Qi Wei, Xu Erqi, Chen Jiewei and Ge Quansheng, noted in a paper released by the Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (BCAS, in Chinese), a think tank journal supervised and sponsored by CAS, which focuses on strategic and decision-making research.

A "Beautiful China" is an initiative aimed at creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly country, with specific goals in detail for a wide range of sectors for China’s green and high-quality development.

In this initiative, China aims to achieve a fundamental improvement in the national ecological environment, and the goal of building a beautiful China will be basically achieved in 2035. Looking ahead to 2050, China envisions a comprehensive upgrade in its ecological civilization, fully realizing green development and green lifestyle with the ecological environment being improved to the level as expected.

To clarify what is meant by building a beautiful China, this paper describes it from the aspects of ecosystem elements, structure, process and function.

The ecosystem elements include water, soil, air and creature. A beautiful China is featured with blue sky, green land, clear water, healthy soil and diverse creature.

From the aspect of structure, it is needed to reshape the structure of the regional natural system and demonstrate the beauty of its harmonious structure by protecting mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes and grass.

The paper also points out that the building of a beautiful China with better environment protection is a long-term task. "It is necessary to build the sustainable natural ecological beauty in China." This echoes the meaning of the goals and vision of the Beautiful China Initiative, minimizing the improper human intervention in the natural environment and leaving time and space for ecological remediation.

From the perspective of function, the Initiative aims to "give full play to the ecological, economic and social functions of natural ecology" to ensure people’s health and all-round development.

The researchers have built an index system for the Beautiful China Initiative, based on the analysis of the above four aspects and the study of the Evaluation Index System and Implementation Plan for Beautiful China Initiative which was issued by the National Development and Reform Commission in 2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals which was set by the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2030.

The article adopts an index system and the research method of scenario simulation to predict the changes in main ecosystems, such as forests and grasslands, impacted by climate change and economic and social development, and to estimate the indicators like forest coverage rate and grassland vegetation coverage rate in 2035 and 2050 in a quantitative way.

The results show that there is still a gap between the reality and the vision of building a beautiful China.

For example, the paper mentions, in 2020, "the ratio of days with excellent air quality in China is only 87 percent, which is 8 percentage points lower than the 95 percent set for 2035 and 100 percent for 2050, and the PM2.5 is still as high as 33μg/m3, failing to reach the national excellent standard;" "the grassland coverage rate is 4 percentage points and 9 percentage points lower than that of the goals for 2035 and 2050, respectively."

Obviously, China’s journey toward green, low-carbon development and beautiful environment involves overcoming challenges and making greater efforts to build a sustainable future. To realize "35 goals" and "50 vision" of Beautiful China Initiative as scheduled, the article proposes measures in five aspects.

Firstly, it is necessary to reduce the man-made pollution to restore major ecosystems and improve the water, soil and air quality. For example, China needs to greatly reduce pollutant emissions, such as reducing PM2.5 from 33μg/m3 in 2020 to 29.7μg/m3 in 2035 and 15μg/m3 in 2050.

Secondly, carbon reduction will be an important measure to build a beautiful China. "The key to carbon reduction is to change China’s energy consumption structure and increase the proportion of non-fossil energy in energy consumption." According to the article, the proportion of non-fossil energy consumption should increase from 15.9 percent in 2020 to 30 percent in 2035 and 70 percent in 2050.

Thirdly, it is important to increase the forest and grassland coverage, protecting wetland and controlling land degradation. For example, China needs to increase national forest coverage rate from 23.04 percent in 2020 to 26 percent in 2035 and 30 percent in 2050, and the national grassland vegetation coverage rate should be increased from the current 56.1 percent to 60 percent in 2035 and 65 percent in 2050; the wetland protection rate needs to be raised from the current 51.9 percent to 60 percent in 2035 and 80 percent in 2050.

Fourthly, increasing grain production is crucial. Grain security is the basis of ensuring people’s health and all-round development. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the protection of cultivated land, improve the quality of arable land, and tap the full potential of undeveloped land such as saline-alkali wasteland to improve the comprehensive agricultural production capacity.

Fifth, green, sustainable and high-quality development is important. The paper estimates that China’s total economic aggregate will reach 200 trillion yuan and 380 trillion yuan in 2035 and 2050 respectively. This may lead to unprecedented pressure on natural resources and exceed the carrying capacity of the environment. As a result, for a more beautiful and sustainable China, the government should optimize the allocation of natural resources, urging economic and consumption behavior to align with environmental standards.

At the National Conference on Ecological and Environmental Protection held in Beijing in July, 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that the coming five years will be critical to the building of a beautiful China. At present, China is giving a high priority to the green development. With solid measures and firm determination, the "Beautiful China" targets will be actively implemented, achieved and exceeded.

Chinese researchers: Comprehensive measures needed to build beautiful China 


Source : Chinese researchers: Comprehensive measures needed to build beautiful China


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