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Chinese cities commit to slash emissions from buildings

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-09-28 15:19

Senior officials from Beijing, Fuzhou, Qingdao, and Shanghai (Changing District), announced bold plans to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings in their cities on Thursday.

Forbidden City, a popular tourism spot in Beijing, is seen under a blue sky, Aug 6, 2017. [Photo/IC]

The initiative, led by C40 Cities, will develop a range of innovative policies to rapidly reduce emissions from existing buildings, ensure new buildings reach ultra-low energy consumption levels, and promote the use of buildings as a source of low carbon energy.

The C40 Cities China Buildings Programme was launched today at Beijing Design Week Sustainable Cities Conference. The scheme will support the four Chinese cities to deliver ambitious climate action by 2020 and share knowledge with cities across China and internationally.

China continues to build an average of two billion square meters of new buildings every year, driven by population growth, urbanization, and unprecedented economic development. As such, the building sector already accounts for approximately 20% of China's total primary energy consumption and 25% of GHG emissions. In the next 20 years, Chinese cities are expected to add a further 280 million citizens, as China becomes 70% urbanised.

Cities, which account for over 85% of China's overall CO2 emissions, are at the frontline of efforts to deliver on the Chinese government's commitment to peak CO2 emissions by 2030. The C40 China Buildings Programme will therefore help reduce emissions across multiple building types through focusing on the following specific policy areas:

• Beijing: Promoting the adoption of ultra-low energy efficiency new construction buildings

• Fuzhou: Scaling renewable energy utilization in buildings.

• Qingdao: The financial sustainability of energy retrofits for existing residential buildings

• Shanghai's Changning District: Fostering the energy efficiency upgrade of existing commercial and public buildings through piloting the China Better Buildings Challenge*

The Center of Science and Technology & Industrialization Development (CSTID), a research institution under the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD), will manage the delivery of technical assistance support to Beijing, Fuzhou, and Qingdao, as well as most central communication and outreach functions of the C40 CBP. The China Association of Building Energy Efficiency (CABEE), a non-profit association composed of building energy efficiency products and service enterprises, will manage the delivery of technical assistance support to the Changning District, Shanghai, as well as capacity building functions for the China Better Buildings Challenge.

"Buildings define our cities, where we as urban citizens spend 90% of our time, both at work and leisure. Yet through the energy we consume in them, buildings are also major contributors to the emissions responsible for climate change. In the rapidly growing cities of China, there is a huge opportunity to avoid the lock-in of future high energy use and emissions through rapidly adopting low-carbon design and retrofitting of buildings," said Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities. "The C40 China Buildings Programme will not only help accelerate and strengthen such policies in Chinese cities, but the lessons learnt in Beijing, Fuzhou, Qingdao, and Shanghai will inspire mayors around the world to step up their ambition and help deliver on the Paris Climate Agreement."

"I am very pleased to officially launch the C40 China Buildings Programme, and believe that the cooperation of the C40 China Building Programme is a new starting point for both of us to give full play to our advantages and achieve win-win cooperation. Through the implementation of the project, we can achieve fruitful results, truly promote the policy formulation and technology development in building energy efficiency, and share advanced experiences and cases with international counterparts." said Yu Binyang, Director General, Centre of Science and Technology & Industrialization Development, MoHURD. "At the same time, we will actively explore cooperation in urban green development, net-zero energy building, clean heating and other areas, in order to promote "going out" and "introducing" in the field of technologies, products and services, and make a positive contribution to reduce energy consumption, combat climate change and promote sustainable development."

"The China Association of Building Energy Efficiency is looking forward to cooperating with C40 on the China Buildings Programme," said Wu Yong, President, China Association of Building Energy Efficiency. In the field of building carbon emission reductions, we will promote building carbon emission reduction management in a more scientific and economical way, so as to realize our commitments in carbon emission reduction.

"The C40 China Buildings Programme marks a step forward in the depth of support and knowledge sharing that C40 will be delivering in partnership with C40 Chinese member cities," said Xie Pengfei, C40 China Chief Representative. "This programme will act as a hub of policy development and technical information for Chinese cities in one of the most critical sectors for delivering ambitious climate action. I very much look forward to seeing both the outcomes of this technical support programme and the valuable lessons that will be shared as a result."

The China Better Buildings Program has taken inspiration from the U.S. DOE Better Buildings Initiative.  It represents a comprehensive voluntary energy efficiency program for China's building sector, launched in partnership between the China Association of Building Energy Efficiency (CABEE), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and Energy Foundation in 2016. The program encourages stakeholders to work together to identify barriers and implement energy efficiency and clean energy solutions in buildings.

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