SCIO briefing on white paper 'China's Green Development in the New Era'
Beijing | 10 a.m. Jan. 19, 2023

The State Council Information Office held a press conference in Beijing on Thursday to brief the media about a white paper titled "China's Green Development in the New Era."


Zhao Chenxin, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission

Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology

Liu Guohong, vice minister of natural resources

Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of ecology and environment


Xing Huina, deputy director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO

Read in Chinese


Mr. Zhao Chenxin, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)

Mr. Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology

Mr. Liu Guohong, vice minister of natural resources

Mr. Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of ecology and environment


Ms. Xing Huina, deputy director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO


Jan. 19, 2023

Xing Huina:

Friends from the media, good morning. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). Today, the SCIO released a white paper titled "China's Green Development in the New Era," and organized this press conference to introduce and interpret its main content.

The white paper fully implements Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the guiding principles of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and presents a comprehensive picture of China's work to apply the new development philosophy and its major decisions, achievements, and experience in green development since the 18th CPC National Congress. The white paper introduces China's efforts and progress in promoting the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature and its ideas, actions, and contributions regarding actively participating in global environment governance and efforts to respond to climate change.

At around 18,000 Chinese characters, the white paper consists of a preface, a main body, and a conclusion. The main body is divided into seven parts: "Staying Firmly Committed to Green Development," "A Basic Green Territorial Configuration Is in Place," "Adjusting and Improving the Industrial Structure," "Extensive Application of Green Production Methods," "Eco-Friendly Living Becomes the Prevailing Ethos," "Improving the Institutions and Mechanisms for Green Development," and "Building the Earth into a Beautiful Home." The white paper is published in eight languages - Chinese, English, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Arabic, and Japanese - by the People's Publishing House and the Foreign Languages Press. It is available at Xinhua Bookstores across the country.

To help you gain a full and accurate understanding of the white paper, we have invited Mr. Zhao Chenxin, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC); Mr. Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology; Mr. Liu Guohong, vice minister of natural resources; and Mr. Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of ecology and environment, to brief you on relevant information and then take your questions.

Now, I'll give the floor to Mr. Zhao Chenxin for his introduction.

Zhao Chenxin:

Friends from the media, good morning. It's my great pleasure to attend today's press conference and introduce the white paper "China's Green Development in the New Era" together with several leaders of relevant departments.

I've got the white paper and let me show it to you.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has attached great importance to ecological conservation and made a series of major deployments, leading to significant achievements in China's green development. With rich content and clear focus, the white paper "China's Green Development in the New Era" systematically summarizes China's actions and achievements in green development over the past decade, and expounds the country's ideas and experience of green development. 

Ms. Xing introduced the structure of the white paper just now. Here I would like to briefly explain its main content from three perspectives.

First, the white paper elaborates on the underlying philosophy of China's green development in the new era.

The first is applying a people-centered development philosophy. China has taken a sound eco-environment as the most inclusive public benefit, vigorously promoted eco-friendly ways of work and life, and improved the quality of the environment and ecosystems so as to help people feel happier, more satisfied, and more secure.

The second is focusing on sustainable development in China. China has treated lucid waters and lush mountains as invaluable assets and firmly pursued a green and low-carbon path to development to enhance economic, ecological, and social benefits.

The third is applying systems of thinking and a coordinated approach. China has striven to maintain a balance between development and protection, between overall and local interests, and between the present and the future. The country has worked to coordinate industrial restructuring, pollution control, eco-environmental conservation, and climate response. It has endeavored to cut carbon emissions, reduce pollution, expand green development, and pursue economic growth.

The fourth is working together for global sustainable development. China has upheld the vision of a human community with a shared future, always been a major participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global movement for building an eco-friendly civilization, and contributed its wisdom and strength to global sustainable development.

Second, the white paper systematically summarizes China's actions and achievements in green development in the new era.

The first is a sustained and steady improvement in the eco-environment. During the decade (from 2012 to 2021), 64 million hectares of trees were planted, desertification prevention and control was carried out over 18.53 million hectares of land, and 40 million hectares of land were improved through sowing grass, and more than 800,000 hectares of wetland were added or restored. China has steadily increased areas of forests, grasslands, wetlands, rivers, and lakes, and effectively reversed the trend of desertification. The quality of the environment has significantly improved. The average PM2.5 density of China's cities at the prefecture level and above dropped from 46 micrograms per cubic meter in 2015 to 30 micrograms per cubic meter on 2021. On 87.5% of the days in 2021, people enjoyed a good air quality. In 2021, the proportion of surface water at or above Grade III in the country's five-tier water quality system reached 84.9%. All these were major changes.

The second is a considerable increase in the quality of economic growth. Strategic emerging industries have become a key driver for economic development. The value-added output of high-tech manufacturing in 2021 accounted for 15.1% of that of industries above the designated size, up 5.7 percentage points from 2012. China's green industries are booming. China leads the world in the manufacture of clean energy generation facilities. In 2021, the output value of China's energy conservation and environmental protection industries exceeded 8 trillion yuan. 

The third is the extensive application of green production methods. China has advanced the comprehensive green transformation of the manufacturing, agriculture, and service sectors, improved the energy mix, fostered a greener and low-carbon way of transportation, and significantly increased efficient resource utilization. The proportion of clean energy sources in total energy consumption increased from 14.5% in 2012 to 25.5% in 2021, and the proportion of coal decreased from 68.5% to 56% over the same period. China's average annual economic growth of 6.6% has been supported by an average annual growth of 3% in energy consumption, and the per unit GDP energy consumption dropped by 26.4%. China is among the countries with the fastest reduction in energy intensity.

The fourth is the active promotion of eco-friendly living. China has worked to raise public awareness of conserving resources and protecting the environment, and advocated a greener and low-carbon lifestyle, creating a conducive social atmosphere for jointly promoting green development.

The fifth is further improvement in institutions and mechanisms. China has strengthened the rule of law, tightened supervision and management, and improved market-based mechanisms, thus providing a solid guarantee for its green development.

Third, the white paper offers with a large number of facts on China joining hands with the rest of the world to build the Earth into a beautiful home.

The Earth is our one and only home, and a beautiful homeland is the shared aspiration of mankind. China has actively participated in global climate negotiations in a constructive manner, and made historic contributions to the conclusion and implementation of the Paris Agreement. China is also an active participant in the South-South cooperation on climate change. The country endeavors to build a green Belt and Road and carries out extensive green international cooperation. In doing so, China is working with the international community to advance sustainable development worldwide.

China will keep to the path of green development, promote the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature, and work with other countries to build a cleaner and more beautiful world.

That's my introduction to the key points of the white paper. Now, my colleagues from relevant departments and I are ready to answer your questions. Thank you.

Xing Huina:

Thank you, Mr. Zhao, for your introduction. Now we will open the floor for questions. Please identify the media outlet you represent before raising questions.


The Paper:

Low-carbon energy is the key to reducing air pollution and controlling greenhouse gas emissions. In the past 10 years, how has China coordinated energy security and green and low-carbon transformation and accelerated the building of a clean, low-carbon, safe, and efficient energy system? Thank you.

Zhao Chenxin:

Thank you for your question. You raised a very good question. Indeed, human beings cannot survive and develop without energy. To achieve green development, we must vigorously reform how we produce and utilize energy. In the 10 years of the new era, China has accelerated the reform of energy production and utilization, continuously enhanced energy security capabilities, and promoted the substantial improvement of green and low-carbon levels, providing critical support for the realization of high-quality economic and social development. I will briefly introduce it from several aspects.

First, we have strengthened the ability to guarantee energy supply. We are committed to maintaining energy security and have developed a diverse energy production system that includes coal, oil, gas, electricity, nuclear, and renewable energy. Recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics and the National Energy Administration (NEA) shows that the supply of raw coal, crude oil, natural gas, and electricity in China has grown steadily, with improved quality, in recent years. At a press conference of the SCIO two days ago, Lian Weiliang, vice chairman of the NDRC, and Zhang Jianhua, administrator of the NEA, elaborated on this topic, so I won't go into details on this aspect. Through these efforts, we have ensured high-quality energy production growth, effectively guaranteeing national energy security.

Second, we have vigorously promoted renewable energy. The capacity of wind and photovoltaic power generation has continued to grow. Wind and solar energy are gradually becoming the dominant source of newly installed capacity and power generation. At the end of 2022, the national installed capacity of wind and photovoltaic power reached over 700 million kilowatts, and the installed capacity of wind power and photovoltaic power generation ranks first in the world. In 2022, the newly installed capacity of wind and photovoltaic power made up 78% of the country's newly installed capacity, and newly added wind and photovoltaic power generation accounted for more than 55% of the country's new power generation in that year - a significant proportion. We have taken many measures to implement the full guarantee purchase system for renewable energy power generation and have also been carrying out a weighted assessment of our renewable energy power consumption responsibility. The utilization efficiency of renewable energy has been significantly improved.

Third, we have focused on enhancing the efficient and clean utilization of fossil fuels. We advanced coal industry supply-side reforms and implemented green mining. Also, we transformed coal power plants to ultra-low emission and energy-saving standards. By the end of 2021, over 1 billion kW of coal-fired generating units have achieved ultra-low emissions nationwide, and nearly 900 million kW have undergone energy-saving renovations. We encouraged the substitution of coal with natural gas, electricity, and renewable energy and promoted clean end-use energy. We also carried out special actions to upgrade refined oil quality to an internationally advanced level. Furthermore, we accelerated the phasing out of high-emission and old vehicles to reduce pollution emissions effectively.

Ensuring energy security and promoting a green, low-carbon transformation while accelerating the development of a clean, efficient, and safe energy system is a crucial and long-term objective that must be upheld. Building on our current efforts, we will continuously strive to fully implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and further advance the energy revolution, providing strong support for a green and low-carbon transformation of the economy and society. Thank you.

Hong Kong Economic Herald:

The report of the 20th CPC National Congress proposed to move the manufacturing sector toward higher-end, smarter, and greener production and made a series of important arrangements for the transition to green development. What developments have been made in the green and low-carbon transformation of China's industry and information technology in the new era? Thank you.

Xin Guobin:

Thank you for your question. The 20th CPC National Congress made important arrangements for promoting the green development of the manufacturing sector, and further pointed out the direction for the green and low-carbon transformation of the industrial and information industry. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, we have conscientiously implemented Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization, applied the new development philosophy in full, the right way and all fields of endeavor, and adopted a series of policy measures, all resulting in significant progress.

First, the restructuring of the industrial sector has seen notable results. Traditional manufacturing is undergoing rapid optimization and adjustment. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), China removed more than 150 million tons of excess steel production capacity and about 300 million tons of excess cement production capacity. Substandard steel products have been eliminated. The advanced manufacturing industry continues to grow and develop. The value-added output of high-tech and equipment manufacturing in 2021 accounted for 15.1% and 32.4% of that of industries above the designated size, up 5.7 and 4.2 percentage points from 2012, respectively.

Second, energy resource utilization efficiency continues to improve. All stakeholders are actively promoting industrial energy conservation and reduction. In 2021, the comprehensive energy consumption per unit of products such as steel, electrolytic aluminum, cement clinker, and flat glass was reduced by more than 9% compared to 2012, and the coal consumption per kilowatt-hour of thermal power units nationwide decreased to 302.5 grams of standard coal, both leading the world. At the same time, resource utilization is being actively pursued. According to preliminary estimates, in 2021, the total utilization of bulk industrial solid waste was approximately 2.1 billion metric tons, with a utilization rate increase of nearly 10 percentage points compared to 2012. The impact has been substantial.

Third, the green supply capacity has been significantly enhanced. Efforts were made to fortify the low-carbon and green industrial chain, reinforce the industrial foundation, and drive key technological advancements. The mega-kilowatt hydropower generator set is now operating and generating power. China produces more than 70% of the global total of polysilicon, wafers, cells, and modules. Green transformation of transportation was actively promoted. The production and sales of new energy vehicles have ranked first globally for eight consecutive years, and the output of such vehicles is expected to surpass 7 million in 2022. The global market share of green shipping using LNG and methanol has approached 50%. Green building materials have been successfully promoted and used in urban and rural areas, especially going down with rural residents.

Fourth, a coordinated digital and green transformation has been enhanced. The integration and advancement of digital tech and manufacturing have increased. The digital control rate of key processes in key areas increased from 24.6% in 2012 to 55.3% in 2021. Efforts were made to optimize the energy efficiency of new infrastructure. Currently, the average energy consumption of a 5G base station has decreased by over 20% from its initial commercialization stage, and 153 national green data centers have been established. The average PUE of large and above data centers planned and under construction nationwide has decreased to 1.3.

Next, we will conscientiously implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and work to maintain harmony between humanity and nature in our development. We'll actively promote peak carbon emissions in the industrial sector and build a green and low-carbon tech system as well as a green manufacturing support system. We aim for industrial transformation and development toward a high-end industrial structure, low-carbon energy consumption, circular resource utilization, clean production processes, digital manufacturing, and green product supply.

Thank you.



In recent years, green industries have attracted wide attention and become a new driving force in economic growth. What measures has China taken to develop green industries, and how are they going so far? Thank you. 

Zhao Chenxin:

Thank you for your questions. To vigorously develop green industries and cultivate a new, green driving force in development is an important approach to accelerating the transition to a green development model. In the past decade, various localities and departments across China have worked on resource conservation and environmental protection, which have in turn promoted the development of green industries. Here are some facts about our progress: 

First, we have strengthened ecological and environmental protection and created massive market demand. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, we have made solid gains in the battle against pollution, enhanced ecological protection and restoration, promoted the green transition of traditional industries and upgraded them, and vigorously developed clean energies, providing key development opportunities for green industries. With the rollout of policies aimed at carbon emissions peak and carbon neutrality, green industries have grown at an even faster pace. In recent years, the output of energy conservation and environmental protection industries and new energy industries has grown at an annual average rate of over 10%, with China leading the world in the manufacture of clean energy-generation facilities. And as Minister Xin just said, China's output and sales of new energy vehicles have topped the world for eight consecutive years. 

Second, we have utilized all kinds of policy tools to incentivize and encourage the development of green industries. With the use of fiscal policies, tax, price, and other measures, various departments have worked together to support the development of green industries. In the past 10 years, more than 100 billion yuan in central government budget has been allocated to support the construction of environmental infrastructure. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), the central government allocated nearly 200 billion yuan in ecological protection subsidies annually. More than 50 tax and fee preferential policies have been implemented, and the resource and environment pricing mechanism has been constantly improved. We have also set up a system of green product assessment standard, ramped up green government procurement, and encouraged the consumption of green products. 

Third, we have strengthened innovation in green technologies and promoted the industrial application of green technologies. China has constantly ramped up sci-tech innovation. At the end of 2021, the number of in-force invention patents in China's energy conservation and environmental protection industries and new energy industries stood at 49,000 and 60,000, respectively, which were 1.6 and 1.7 times from the end of 2017, demonstrating relatively rapid development. A green technology equipment manufacturing system covering energy conservation, water conservation, environmental protection, renewable energy, and other areas has been formed. In addition, technologies in new energy, pollution control, and environment monitoring have become advanced by international standards, and technologies have increasingly led the development of industries. 

Fourth, we have robustly developed green finance to provide financial support for green industries. We have improved green finance policies and promoted the establishment of a multilevel green finance product and market system. At the end of 2021, China's green loan balance in RMB and foreign currencies stood at 15.9 trillion yuan, and its outstanding green bonds stood at 1.1 trillion yuan, both ranking among the largest in the world.

Green industries have become a new driver of economic growth and are demonstrating their sound momentum. The development of green industries requires attention and support from all sides. From the government side, we will ramp up policy guidance and promotion and keep lending support to green industries in order to promote their sound and sustained development. Thanks.


China Daily:

Over the years, we have seen environmental conditions becoming better and better. There are more lucid waters and lush mountains, and humanity and nature coexist in perfect harmony. I wonder, what has been done in the area of ecological and environmental protection to build beautiful homes featuring harmony between humanity and nature and accelerate green and low-carbon development? What has been achieved so far? And what measures will be taken next? Thank you. 

Zhao Yingming:

Thank you for your questions. Making eco-environmental progress and strengthening ecological and environmental protection should not only meet people's growing desire for a beautiful environment but also promote high-quality development as well as green and low-carbon development. With the sound guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization, we moved from firmly deciding to battle pollution to working on pollution control and making further progress in the battle against pollution. The past decade has witnessed unprecedented measures, efforts, and achievements in China's ecological and environmental protection. In summary, there are four key areas of work in building beautiful homes featuring harmony between humanity and nature and achieving green and low-carbon development. 

First, we have worked to resolve prominent ecological and environmental problems. We have adopted a targeted, scientific, and law-based approach to curb pollution; further addressed air, water, and soil contamination; and continued to improve China's ecology and environment. The average PM2.5 density in China's cities at prefecture level and above dropped from 46 micrograms per cubic meter in 2015 to 29 micrograms per cubic meter in 2022. China has made the fastest progress in air quality improvement in the world. Last year, the proportion of surface water at or above Grade III in the country's five-tier water quality system reached 87.9%. China has also effectively brought the threat of soil contamination under control and banned the import of foreign waste, fulfilling its goal of "zero import" of solid waste. We have also ramped up efforts to protect and restore ecosystems and made solid gains in biodiversity protection. Thus, the Chinese people have a stronger sense of gain, happiness, and security in terms of ecology and environment. 

Second, we have taken active steps to advance the Beautiful China Initiative. A series of measures have been adopted to strengthen environmental protection and build a beautiful China. Major strategies for regional development have been implemented concerning the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze Economic Belt, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Yangtze River basin and Yellow River basin. Joint protection of the regional eco-environment and joint prevention and control of pollution have been strengthened. Hubs for green development and pilot zones for building a beautiful China have been established. Coordinated efforts have been made to promote innovation demonstrations in key areas. The first branch of 18 beautiful rivers and lakes and eight beautiful bays have been built. The construction of "zero-waste cities" has been launched in 113 cities at and above the prefecture level and eight special areas. Demonstration initiatives have been launched for eco-environmental progress. Currently, 468 national demonstration zones for eco-environmental progress and 187 practice and innovation bases for turning natural resources into economic gains have been established, vividly demonstrating various examples of a beautiful China.

Third, we have made extensive efforts to advance green and low-carbon development. The pursuit of synergy in reducing pollution and carbon emissions has been taken as a key task in promoting green transition in all respects of economic and social development and the Implementation Plan on Pursuing Synergy in the Reduction of Pollution and Carbon Emissions has been published and implemented. Pollution prevention has been strengthened at the source. The region-specific environmental management system of "three lines and one list" (i.e., enforcing red lines for ecological conservation, setting the threshold for environmental quality, imposing a ceiling on resource utilization, and implementing a negative list of environmental standards for market access) has been implemented. Environmental impact assessments and management have been further advanced. Moreover, strict environmental standards for project approval have been enforced. Synergy in reducing pollution and carbon emissions has been promoted in key fields such as industry, transportation, urban and rural construction and agriculture. Adjustment and improvement in industrial structures, the energy mix and transportation structure have been advanced. Construction has begun on the first collaborative innovation zone to reduce pollution and carbon emissions. The Environmental Code of Conduct for Citizens (for Trial Implementation) was published, and a green and low-carbon lifestyle has been strongly advocated.

Fourth, China has fully engaged in global environmental governance. China successfully hosted the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The U.N. biodiversity deal, entitled the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, was adopted in the second phase of the meeting earlier. Serving as the host of the COP15 is the first time China has held the presidency of an important international environmental convention and facilitated negotiations and the adoption of agreements among international communities. It is also a new practice for China to take a leading role in global environmental governance. China has worked to bring about positive results at the 27th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, promoted green development under the Belt and Road Initiative, and launched the Belt and Road Initiative International Green Development Coalition (BRIGC) and the BRI Environmental Big Data Platform. Pragmatic measures have been adopted to carry out multilateral and bilateral environmental cooperation, and active steps have been taken to promote South-South cooperation on ecological conservation and climate response, making positive contributions to maintaining sustainable global development. 

Next, we will thoroughly study and implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and aim to build a beautiful China. We will coordinate industrial restructuring, pollution control, eco-environmental conservation, and climate response. We will take coordinated steps to cut carbon emissions, reduce pollution, and expand green development, while pursuing economic growth. We will promote high-quality development and a high-quality life through high-level environmental protection and make great efforts to achieve Chinese modernization based on harmony between humanity and nature. Thank you.


Changjiang Daily:

With a large population, China has long faced the problem that land resources fail to satisfy the needs of the population in the process of advancing modernization. Faced with such a reality, what measures will be adopted to coordinate the development and protection of land to promote the green transformation of China's growth model and achieve sustainable development? Thank you.  

Liu Guohong:

Thanks to this reporter for the questions. As is known to all, China's basic national condition is that it has a large population but limited land resources. Therefore, to achieve sustainable economic and social development the only way out is to strictly protect arable land and use intensive land efficiently. The measures we have adopted can be generalized into four aspects. That is, strictly controlling the "increment", vitalizing the "stock", improving the structure, and enhancing efficiency. Let me elaborate on each of them.

First, we will strictly control additional land use for nonagricultural purposes. Arable land is the lifeline of grain production and, thus, is the most valuable resource. We must adhere to the strictest possible system for the protection of farmland, implement strict regulations on land use and prevent the arable land and other agricultural land from being used for construction purposes. During the 14th Five-Year Plan period, the area of additional land designated for construction projects nationwide will be kept at 1.97 million hectares, with a reduction of 200,000 hectares over the 13th Five-Year Plan period.

Second, we will put existing resources to good use. We will reform the way of managing land use plans, ensure that land stays with the project it is allocated to, and implement the mechanism for coordinating the consumption of existing resources and the arrangements for additional resources to force local authorities to make great efforts to use land stock. Since the introduction of the mechanism in 2018, a total of 1.47 million hectares of land, consisting of land that had got approval but had not been provided to developers and land that had been left idle by developers, have been consumed over the past five years, over three times the area of additional land in the annual plan. It should be said that this mechanism has yielded good results.

Third, we will improve the land use structure. We will work to promote the redevelopment of land in urban areas that cannot be fully exploited in order to use the "stock" in exchange of the "increment". We will encourage the integrated development of above ground and underground spaces. We will double efforts to improve land use in rural areas in a comprehensive manner. We will ensure that the total acreage of arable land does not diminish, and the layout of permanent basic farmland remains stable. We will gradually move the arable land in higher mountains into lower areas and try to place fruit trees and forest trees along the mountains based on local conditions. These measures will release space by improving the land use structure. 

Fourth, enhancing efficiency. We will thoroughly advance the development of a sound unified rural-urban market for land designated for construction purposes, further improve the system for the paid use of state-owned land, make a big push to promote the combination of leasing and transferring of land designated for industrial purposes, and improve the secondary market for land. We will revise the standards on use of land for infrastructure purposes, expand the scope of paid use for such land, and strive to better utilize capital and technology for development. We will establish model counties (cities) for the conservation and efficient utilization of natural resources, guiding society in increasing awareness of economical and intensive use of land resources. During the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period, we will strive to reduce the land for construction per unit of GDP. That is to say, the "land consumption" we often refer to will drop by about 15%.

The report delivered at the opening session of the 20th CPC National Congress noted that the nation will speed up the transition to a model of green development and implement a comprehensive conservation strategy. We will continue to improve the policy system for conserving various natural resources, including land, and using them efficiently, continuously promote conservation and efficient use of resources, and strive to obtain the greatest economic and social benefits with the least cost to resources and the environment.

Thank you.


China News Service:

There are some data on the typical aspects of China's cultivation of green manufacturing in Chapter 4 of the white paper. My question relates to China's green manufacturing system, which has been developing since the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) period. How is it progressing? What is its special significance to China's green development? How will you further promote green manufacturing? Thank you.

Xin Guobin:

Thank you for your question. With the support and coordination of relevant departments, we have continued to develop a green manufacturing system focused on energy saving, emission reduction and efficiency enhancement, driven by major projects and linked through the construction of green factories, green industrial chains, and green industrial parks since the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) period. China hosts a total of 2,783 green factories, 296 green supply chain management enterprises, and 223 green industrial parks, and has promoted nearly 20,000 green products. According to preliminary calculations, more than 95% of solid waste at the green industrial parks have been utilized. The energy consumption level of many green factories is better than the advanced value of the national energy consumption quota standard, and a whole-chain green product supply system from basic raw materials to terminal consumer goods has been gradually established.

As for its special significance for green development, we understand the following aspects: First, green manufacturing is an inherent requirement for promoting high-quality manufacturing development and building a modern industrial system. Second, green manufacturing is the fundamental way to break the bottleneck of resource and environmental constraints and realize sustainable development. Third, green manufacturing is a strong guarantee for promoting the economical and intensive use of resources and achieving safe development. Fourth, green manufacturing is an inevitable choice to conform to the trend of technological progress and promote the optimization and upgrading of the economic structure. Fifth, green manufacturing is also an important means of meeting people's growing demands for a beautiful ecological environment and promoting harmonious coexistence between man and nature.

Next, we will fully implement the decisions and arrangements of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, and advance green manufacturing in the following five aspects: 

First, improve the green manufacturing and service system. We will draw up guidelines for accelerating the green, high-quality development of the manufacturing sector in accordance with new circumstances and tasks. We will make coordinated arrangements to promote green manufacturing and establish a mechanism for cultivating benchmarking enterprises in an incremental manner. 

Second, establish a policy system for green and low-carbon upgrading. We will continue to advance reduction of carbon emissions and pollution, green expansion, and economic growth in a coordinated manner and fully use fiscal, tax, financial, and other policy resources of the central and local governments to form a multi-tiered, diversified and packaged system of supporting policies. Such a system will support and guide enterprises in carrying out green and low-carbon upgrading and transformation.

Third, stress the guiding role of green and low-carbon standards. We will formulate guidelines for green and low-carbon standardization in industry and information technology to fully play the role of standardization technical organizations in various industries and speed up the formulation and revision of relevant standards.

Fourth, establish a guiding mechanism for digitally enabled green manufacturing. We will accelerate the coordinated transformation of digitalization and greening and promote the application of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, digital twins, and other next-generation information technologies in manufacturing.

Fifth, deepen international exchange and cooperation mechanisms for green manufacturing. Relying on existing multilateral and bilateral cooperation mechanisms, we will strengthen communication and exchanges on green and low-carbon technology innovation, outcome applications, policies and standards, and pragmatically advance cooperation and development. Thank you.



We have seen in Chapter 6 of the white paper that sound institutions and mechanisms are essential to green development. My question is, what work have we done to build and improve the system of institutions for ecological conservation and continuously improve the efficiency of green development in recent years? What has been achieved so far, and what are the plans for the next step? Thank you.

Zhao Yingmin:

Thank you for your question. Over the past 10 years, we have been focusing on building a sound system of institutions for ecological conservation with clearly defined property rights, diverse participants, as well as equal emphasis on incentives and constraints to provide a strong institutional mechanism and policy guarantee for green and low-carbon economic development. I will introduce for you three aspects: 

First, strengthening the rule of law. The past 10 years have seen the most vigorous legislative efforts, the strictest supervision and law enforcement, and the most effective implementation of the legal system on the ecological environment. Ecological advancement and conservation have been written into China's Constitution. There are more than 30 laws currently in force regarding ecological and environmental protection. They cover pollution prevention and control in fields such as air, water, soil, solid waste, and noise, as well as important ecosystems such as the Yangtze River, the Yellow River, wetlands, and black soil. The legal and regulatory system for ecological and environmental protection has basically developed. As of the end of last year, China had put in place 2,298 national ecological environment standards, effectively promoting the technological and economic progress of the industry and the optimization and upgrading of the industrial structure. We will continue to deepen the reform of the system whereby environmental protection agencies below the provincial level come directly under the supervision of their respective provincial-level agencies in terms of environmental monitoring, supervision, and law enforcement activities, and reforms for coordinated administrative law enforcement to protect ecosystems and the environment. We will improve law enforcement systems and methods, explore ways to put more than 44,000 enterprises on the positive list, strengthen the high-tech application of a comprehensive system that integrates air, space and land, and continuously improve scientific and targeted environmental law enforcement.

Second, in terms of regulatory systems, the central supervision system for ecological environment protection has served as a sharp weapon to ensure that all parties concerned fulfill their responsibilities in eco-environmental protection, which effectively addresses a series of prominent environmental problems. We have established and put in place various regulatory systems, covering the red lines for eco-environmental protection, region-specific approach to environmental management, the emissions permit, taking back the power for environmental quality monitoring, and sewage outfalls into seas and rivers. We have improved a series of accountability systems, such as the system for ensuring that Party committees and governments assume equal responsibilities for environmental protection, imposing lifelong accountability for environmental damage, mandating end-of-tenure auditing of natural resource assets for leading officials, and measures on evaluating performance in advancing ecological progress. We have piloted the compensation system for eco-environmental damage, and it is now implemented as a regular system.

Third, in terms of market mechanisms, we have put in place the carbon emissions trading system and launched the national carbon market, the world's largest in terms of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions covered, which has wrapped up its first compliance period. We have improved the green taxation system; expanded the catalog of corporate income tax credits for programs of carbon capture, utilization and storage, and comprehensive utilization of industrial waste. We supported the third-party enterprises engaged in pollution prevention and control and cut their corporate income tax rate to 15%. We also cut more than 13 billion yuan in environmental protection tax for taxpayers who emit below emission standards over the past nearly three years. We leverage the role of green finance, piloted the environment-oriented development model, and encouraged investment and financing in response to climate change. We have deepened the reform of the compensation system for eco-environmental conservation, and pushed forward the building of a mechanism where provinces situated on the upper and lower reaches of river basins compensate each other for their impact on water quality. We have made steady progress in building the legal disclosure system for environmental information and the credit system for ecological and environmental protection. The policy system for eco-environmental and economic development has been improved, playing an increasingly important role in guiding, incentivizing, and adjusting the market, which promoted the green, low-carbon transformation.

Next, we will earnestly implement the decisions at the 20th CPC National Congress, improve institutions and mechanisms for eco-environmental conservation, push forward the building of legal systems for eco-environmental protection, and enhance regulatory systems. We will step up efforts to improve fiscal, taxation, financial, investment, and price policies, as well as the system of environmental standards, to support green development. We will accelerate efforts in enhancing the governance system and governance capacity in the field of eco-environmental protection to better promote green, low-carbon development. Thank you.


The white paper mentioned that in the past decade, China has improved the efficiency of resource utilization, such as in the usage of energy, water, land, and raw materials. Could you please share relevant examples with us? Thank you.

Zhao Chenxin:

Thank you for your question. China is a major resource consumer. Conserving energy, resource, and improving resource utilization efficiency is of great significance to China and even global resource security. In the past decade of the new era, China has fully implemented Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization and adopted strong and effective measures to greatly improve the efficiency of resource utilization.

First, we have strengthened planning and guidance. China has incorporated indicators of resource conservation into its five-year plans, established and improved the evaluation assessment system, and promoted departments and local governments to fulfill their responsibilities. The State Council and relevant departments have issued a series of major comprehensive working plans on energy conservation and emission reduction, the building of a water-saving society, and the development of the circular economy. Such efforts have covered various aspects and forged synergy in pushing forward the resource conservation work. 

Second, we have strengthened energy conservation and improved efficiency in key areas. In major areas, such as industry, construction, transportation, and public institutions, we vigorously promoted energy saving through technological, management, and structural ways. In terms of industry, Mr. Xin just briefed us about green manufacturing. We have carried out the national water conservation campaign and promoted efficient irrigation in agriculture. We have strictly controlled the increase of land designated for construction projects. More efforts have been made to curb waste throughout the entire grain industrial chain. In 2021, the energy consumption per unit of the added value of industry above the designated size and water consumption per 10,000 yuan of value-added of the industry dropped by 36.2 % and 55%, respectively, from 2012.

Third, we have established and improved market-based mechanisms to promote resource conservation and increase efficiency. We have fully implemented the tiered pricing system for residential electricity, water, and gas, which encouraged the public to conserve resources as much as possible. We have introduced a differentiated electricity price policy for industries with high energy consumption. Efforts have been made to implement preferential tax treatments and explore trading systems for energy consumption rights, and water use rights, to promote the efficient allocation of resources. 

Fourth, we have strengthened legal frameworks. We have formulated and revised the Energy Conservation Law, the Anti-Food Waste Law, and Regulations on Energy Conservation by Public Institutions. We have strictly investigated and punished violations of laws and regulations. Measured against internationally high standards, we have developed and improved standards for the consumption of energy, water, and materials in key industries and products and ensured effective implementation.

Fifth, we have encouraged the participation of the whole society. Various activities have been carried out to promote resource conservation. We have worked to raise public awareness about cherishing resources and resource conservation. We have held week-long national campaigns to promote energy conservation for 32 consecutive years and week-long campaigns to promote water conservation for 31 consecutive years. Both achieved great progress. 

We will thoroughly implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, carry out a comprehensive resource conservation strategy, and accelerate the fundamental shift in the use of resources to pursue development on the basis of utilizing resources in a more rational, secure, and sustainable way, providing effective guarantee for building a modern socialist country in all respects.

Thank you.


China Education Television:

We noticed that there is a chapter in the white paper explaining the "green territorial configuration." Optimizing the development and protection of territorial space is an important part of it. What are the considerations in leveraging the role of territorial space planning to promote the building of a green territorial configuration? Thank you.

Liu Guohong:

Thank you for your question. A country's territorial space is the carrier for green development. General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed the need to plan economic and social development from the perspective of harmonious co-existence between man and nature. He said that we should, acting on the principles of prioritizing resource conservation and environmental protection and letting nature restore itself, develop spatial layouts, industrial structures, and ways of work and life that help conserve resources and protect the environment. The Ministry of Natural Resources has fully followed through on the important instructions made by General Secretary Xi Jinping. Efforts have been made to integrate different plans into a single master plan for territorial space development, design sound territorial space planning, which can be summarized into "five levels, three types", and put them into effect to promote the building of a green territorial configuration. Our works are mainly in three aspects, which are as follows:

The first is coordinating development and security, and supporting high-quality development while safeguarding the bottom line of resource security. For food security, priority has been given to drawing red lines for the protection of farmland and permanent basic cropland. The task of retaining at least 124.33 million hectares of farmland area will remain unchanged from 2021 to 2035. To guard the natural ecological security boundary, ecological conservation red lines have been established, and more than 30% of China's total land area is now under the protection of the red lines. To curb the expansion of urban sprawl, we have strictly controlled boundaries for urban development. We have acted in accordance with the principle that the urban development area should not be 1.1 times larger than the existing land construction area in megacities, cities with net population reduction, and cities where per capita construction land exceeds national standards, and not be 1.3 times larger in other cities.

The second is coordinating protection and development, and optimizing the development of territorial space. We have implemented a functional zoning strategy. Based on natural and geographical patterns and the carrying capacity of resources and the environment, we have optimized the strategic layout of major agricultural production zones, key ecosystem service zones, and urbanized zones, coordinated the spatial layout of water conservancy, transportation, energy and other infrastructure, and worked to build a new multi-center, networked, open, and intensive territorial space development configuration. We have encouraged urban and rural areas to use idle construction land effectively, promote endogenous and intensive urban development, and build beautiful and harmonious countryside that is desirable to live and work in.

The third is coordinating conservation and restoration, and taking a holistic and systematic approach to conserving and improving mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands and deserts. We are taking coordinated steps to develop a national park-based nature reserve system, making overall deployments to protect and restore major ecosystems such as lands, rivers, lakes and oceans nationwide. We have launched large-scale and well-conceived greening programs, and carried out integrated protection, systematic restoration and comprehensive management of mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands and deserts, so as to make the sky bluer, mountains lusher, waters clearer, the environment more beautiful, and the human-nature relationship more harmonious. As you may notice, not long ago, China's Shan-Shui Initiative was selected as one of the U.N.'s first 10 World Restoration Flagships, offering China's wisdom, solutions and strength for global biodiversity protection.

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress proposed developing a regional economic layout and territorial space system that complement each other's strengths and promote high-quality development; improving the functional zoning system and the development of territorial space; and advancing the Beautiful China Initiative and enhancing diversity, stability and sustainability in our ecosystems. We will fully implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, continue to deepen coordination in the three respects as mentioned earlier, constantly improve the territorial space planning system, and strictly implement the regulation system for the use of territorial space, so as to better advance high-quality development and achieve a high level of security. Thank you.


Phoenix TV:

The white paper calls on all countries to work together to tackle climate change and safeguard the Earth. What impact has China's green development had on the global response to climate change? What are your future considerations? Thank you.

Zhao Chenxin:

Thank you for your question, which is important. Mr. Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of ecology and environment, has participated in many negotiations on climate change and has just attended the U.N. Biodiversity Conference. His introduction was important and informative, and I would like to add a few more points.

China is the world's largest developing country, and its achievements in green development have strongly supported the global response to climate change. We are also willing to share our experience and achievements in China's green development with other countries. There is lots of relevant information in the white paper.

First, China's commitment to green and low-carbon development has enormously contributed to the global response to climate change. In the past decade of the new era, China has worked to adjust its industrial, energy and transportation structure to promote a green, low-carbon way of life and production, surpassing the target of cutting carbon intensity by 40% to 45% by 2020 compared to that in 2005. China has continued to improve its manufacturing capacity for renewable energy equipment. It now ranks first in the world for the production of wind power and photovoltaic power generation equipment, providing strong support for global energy transformation. China has also intensified efforts to protect and restore ecosystems, becoming the first country in the world to achieve "zero growth" in land degradation and a decrease in both desertification and sandification. Both China's forest coverage rate and forest stock have maintained growth, contributing more "Chinese green" to the world. Since the beginning of this century, roughly one-quarter of the global new green leaf area has come from China. Meanwhile, as I said in my previous answer and opening remarks, China has actively advanced the international negotiations on climate change, carried out South-South cooperation on climate change, promoted the Belt and Road Initiative as environmentally friendly, and made every effort to assist and help other developing countries, playing an essential role in enhancing the global capacity to address climate change.

Second, China has made a major strategic decision to achieve peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality, injecting strong impetus into the global response to climate change. With the solemn commitment to peak its carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, China will achieve the biggest decrease in carbon intensity in the world, with shortest time in history between achieving peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality, which will strongly promote the process of global carbon reduction. To advance peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality, China has set up a leading group at the central governmental level, and each province, autonomous region and municipality directly under the central government has also set up its own leading group in this regard, forming a working system coordinated from top to bottom. We have also implemented a "1+N" policy system and deployed 10 "carbon peak campaigns" to form an overall pattern featuring clear goals, rational division of work, effective measures, and smooth coordination for promoting peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality. Thanks to the joint efforts of all sectors of society, great progress has been made in key areas. For instance, as you may know, we have made smooth progress in constructing large wind power and photovoltaic bases with a capacity of 450 million kW in sandy areas, rocky areas and deserts. The first phase of projects with a capacity of approximately 100 million kW has started construction, the information of which we have released to the public in many ways. We are also advancing the second and third phases of the project. In 2021, the proportion of new environmentally-friendly buildings in urban areas increased to 84%. China's investment in clean energy has continued to grow in recent years. According to statistics from the International Energy Agency I saw earlier, China's investment in clean energy in 2021 reached $380 billion, ranking first in the world. Many domestic and international statistics show that China actively encourages the world to achieve carbon reduction targets with practical actions.

Next, China will stay committed to implementing the major strategic decision to achieve peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality, accelerate its development model's green transformation, and continue contributing to the response to global climate change. First, we will take active yet prudent steps to achieve China's carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals, and strike a balance between development and emission reduction, the big picture and respective situations, long-term and short-term goals, and between the government and the market. Second, we will, based on China's energy resource endowment and its actual conditions, advance the energy revolution and accelerate the planning and construction of a new energy system in accordance with overall planning and the principle of establishing the new before abolishing the old. Third, we will improve China's industrial structure at a faster pace to promote green and low-carbon industrial development. Fourth, we will advance the efficient and intensive use of all resources, and continue to improve the efficiency of their use, as I have mentioned. Fifth, we will continue to improve the green and low-carbon policy system, and pool more resources and production factors to promote green development. Sixth, we will play an active role in global governance on climate change, carry out extensive international cooperation in the green and low-carbon fields, and work to build a clean and beautiful world. Thank you.

Xing Huina:

Today's press conference has now concluded. Thank you, speakers. Thank you to all my friends in the media. Goodbye.

Translated and edited by Zhang Liying, Wang Qian, Wang Yiming, He Shan, Zhang Lulu, Wang Yanfang, Xu Kailin, Ma Yujia, Wang Mengru, Zhang Junmian, Cui Can, Huang Shan, Xu Xiaoxuan, Duan Yaying, Liu Sitong, Li Huiru, Daniel Xu, Tom Arnsten, and Jay Birbeck. In case of any discrepancy between the English and Chinese texts, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

/6    Xing Huina

/6    Zhao Chenxin

/6    Xin Guobin

/6    Liu Guohong

/6    Zhao Yingmin

/6    Group photo