World Expo in China

 

The World Expo in China, the world’s largest in history with 73 million attending, for the first time in 159 years focused on cities, sustainable ones that is. Throughout its six-month run, more than 500 new technologies in solar, heat pumps, energy efficiency, transportation and advanced material were developed as part of the Expo. For instance, one entire building was devoted to four real families living in the cities of four different contenents, Australia, North America, Africa and China. The exhibit demonstrated through video, waxed figures and other displays how each family lived. At the same time it taught how much each family consumed in terms of resources, even land, and how that impacted climate change; carbon or ecological footprinting education for the masses.

China’s plans for 350-600 million more urban residents by 2050 threatens to tip the earth’s scales in terms of climate change and the economy so much that China is now focused on a fifth global industrial wave: the low-carbon or green economy. Low-carbon growth is cleaner, safer, far more attractive while high-carbon growth will kill itself. China’s new national pilot program announced this summer by its all-powerful National Development Reform Commission for five low-carbon provinces and eight low-carbon cities. One of the low-carbon cities, Baoding, for instance, within the last three years added 20,000 new jobs in wind, PV solar (the city of one million is home to Yingli Solar, among other renewable start-ups), and other renewable energy technologies. It’s also the site of large-scale energy efficiency and renewable energy installations in everything from building-integrated solar to streetlights.

The takeaway is that China is serious about climate change as a threat to the world and itself, and it intends to capitalize on this inevitability with all its might. China, if it continues on its current trajectory of yearly greenhouse gas emission increases, will by 2030, according to Stern, account for 50 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas “budget” under Copenhagen while being home to only 17-18 percent of the world’s population. New green investments will help China continue its lead in the green race that has already begun. Meanwhile, Shanghai, China’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, is deconstructing many of its Expo buildings for reuse in other parts of the nation.

via World Changing