5 of China’s Green Initiatives That Will Put Us to Shame

Seeing as China is responsible for more than 25% of the world’s carbon emissions alone, it’s hard to call the nation a friend of the environmental movement. Nevertheless, while other countries like the United States are floundering to make any meaningful reform (if not still outright questioning the validity of climate science), China is at least moving full speed ahead on some initiatives to become a much greener country. Check out some of its latest plans that should contribute to make the world a healthier place:

1. Cap and Trade

China is prepared to introduce the world’s largest cap-and-trade program to help tackle its carbon emission problem. Having already vowed to cut emissions by 40% of its 2005 levels in the year 2010, China expects that the plan will allow them to get a handle on corporate fuel burning and put a financial burden on those companies that exceed their fair share.

The program will roll out in full in 2016. For now, China has been experimenting with the plan in five different markets, and is impressed with the results thus far. China is using this test-run to fine-tune the rules before it rolls out the program throughout the whole nation.

2. Electric Cars

Another way to cut down on emissions is to transition away from gas-guzzlers and start to emphasize pollution-free cars. The Chinese government says that it intends to have 30% of its automobile purchases be electric cars within the next two years.

In order to increase consumer confidence in electric cars, China is incentivizing these purchases by not taxing them. Additionally, the government is said to be committing about $16 billion to creating additional charging centers to provide electric car drivers with more options.

3. No More GMOs

After five years of allowing genetically modified rice and corn, China has quietly decided  to discontinue the permits necessary to grow GMO crops. The lack of explanation for this decision by the government has fueled speculation as to the reasons. While some believe that safety concerns over GMOs was a primary concern, others point to the fact that China has been advanced its traditional agricultural capabilities and can now grow enough rice without genetic modifications, making altering food in the country unnecessary.

4. Solar Power

While plenty of countries have discussed the likelihood that solar power is the way of the future, no country has put its money and resources behind this belief quite like China. Though more of a recent convert to solar energy, China has hit the ground running. In 2014 alone, China will install more solar technology than the United States has installed throughout all of history.

This boost in solar utilization also means that China is taking a lead in the production of such technology. If the United States hopes to be a leader in energy tech development in the years ahead, there’s no time to dillydally.

5. De-Emphasizing Coal

Speaking of energy, one of China’s most destructive habits has been its heavy reliance on coal. Although some estimates thought the nation’s coal consumption would double by 2030, it may have already peaked well ahead of schedule. Concern over pollution and a shift to alternate forms of energy means that reliance on coal has finally begun to decrease in the country. Some caution that it’s too premature to use the latest coal numbers as a definitive trend, but a turning of the tides is exciting news and indicative of the fact that the economy is finding other ways to grow.

163 comments

Nimue Pendragon

I have to agree with Yvonne.

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Yvonne Wey
Yvonne Wey3 years ago

China maybe good on paper, but to do all this actually,They have no respect for life why now do they think we will believe them????

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Warren Webber
Warren W3 years ago

Live long and prosper

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Brett Byers
Brett Byers3 years ago

Take your own environment initiative: For a donation of just few dollars, stop 1000 tons of CO2 emissions AND save wildlife by saving acres of threatened tropical rainforest:

https://www.rainforesttrust.org/acres-for-50cents/

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silja salonen
silja s3 years ago

Brilliant! Always encouraged when there is progress.
I am quite ashamed of our country...under the "theshitharperdoes" government, here in Canada. We have become disappointingly the least environmental country. Our standing on deforestation here is at an all time chop until they drop attitude. So looking to China with their changes encourages me.

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Brian Foster
Brian F3 years ago

David Their is no question natural gas fracking has helped us cut our imports, of oil, and the price has gone down, but the environmental cost are too high. In Pennsylvania, many problems with poisoned water from natural gas fracking, water are surfacing. Our water is too precious, to risk it to natural gas fracking. In addition natural gas fracking causes earthquakes.

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Ben Oscarsito
Ben O3 years ago

Well, China as a whole is a disaster zone!

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Will Rogers
Will R3 years ago

Firstly. China is not responsible for more than 25% of world pollution! get your numbers right. And when you do, state it emphatically with references. Is it 25.5% or 26 or 27%? According to WHO (world health organisation) and ALL other 'watchers' it is no more than 9%! The USA with only 5% of world pop' is responsible for 25% of global pollution with the average US child using as much water as 300 African villagers, Europe = 250 Av's, while China= 16 Av's. And even with Chinas population 3 times more than the US's means they use less than 10 percent of America input and output.
I wish America would stop this global lie, trying to be in the same rank as less polluting countries. Very few teenagers outside the US and Europe own cars. There are almost as many cars as people in these countries, we all have heating and air conditioning and have had such for decades while theirs is rare and have 1 car per 500 persons! Ecologically they are far in advance to Europe and America. They also are not on a global war crusade exploding more bombs per year than what was used in the 2nd world war! America and Europe pollute more in a week than China does in a year! People who live in glass houses should not throw stones!

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Mike H.
Mike H3 years ago

They have a long way to go

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Joseph Glackin
Joseph Glackin3 years ago

David Fu~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You PREFER your own numbers over Sibley's? They are THE authority on N. American birds,, their range and numbers.

And YOUR EXPERTISE is ??????????????

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