It is too early to proclaim the emergence of the world's first green superpower, but March's five-year plan will outline several new steps in that direction:
• Energy efficiency and environmental services to be declared "priority industries" for first time.
• Three trillion yuan ($455 billion) to be spent on environmental protection over the period – double the amount from 2006-2010
• A carbon intensity target – the ratio of GHG emissions relative to GDP – to be set, likely at about 16%.
• A new environmental tax on heavy polluters to levy fees on discharges of sulfur dioxide, sewage and other contaminants.
More radical steps are also under discussion including:
• A cap on energy use.
• A shift from GDP-based performance evaluation.
Image: Catharine Robertson
Republished with permission.