China has made commitments to environmental protection and pollution control, to create cities with "a blue sky, clear water, green land and a beautiful environment." Not only did China declare "green development" as a priority in its 13th five-year plan, the message has recently been reinforced and reiterated by Chinese leaders at many major events, including the 19th CPC Party Congress and 2018 Davos Forum.
As a more practical step forward, China's National People's Congress, which ended March 20, 2018, established a new Ministry of Ecological Environment to replace the former Ministry of Environmental Protection. This grand ministry is expected to push forward China's environmental protection more efficiently by integrating related responsibilities and functions dispersed in several different ministries during the previous government.
The national government's environmental commitment has led to new political incentives, guidelines, and frameworks. Environmental protection is now a key performance indicator and officials who don't comply put their promotions at risk. Many are choosing to abide by the new rules. There is little mercy shown to polluting factories, which are at risk of being shut down overnight, despite the potential negative impact on the economy. Chengdu, Tianjin, Beijing, and Taiyuan closed the highest numbers of polluting factories (14,148, 9,081, 4,216, and 1,933, respectively) according to 2017 data.
In view of these developments, the demand in China for clean technologies to help achieve environmental protection objectives and commitments is likely to be high.
Canada has been a global frontrunner in environmental protection and has actively engaged in initiatives to combat climate change and build a sustainable environment. Collaboration on environmental issues has been one of Canada's top priorities in its relationship with China.
As the fourth ranked country in the 2017 Global Cleantech Innovation Index, Canada has a lot to offer China. Canadian companies, which excel in many clean technology areas, should take advantage of China's green development strategy and seek opportunities to expand trade and investment in China's cleantech market.
This new research web series dives into the environmental protection performance of China's 31 provincial capital cities and central-governed municipalities by comparing air, water, and waste pollution data since 2013. The research also analyzes China's national and provincial policy structures and commitments to promoting clean technology development.
We hope this research series will help Canadians better understand environmental protection in China, and assist Canadian governments and businesses identify potential market opportunities in China's clean technology market.
Also in APF Canada's new China Eco-City Tracker web series:
• China Eco-City Tracker: Web Series Introduction
• China Eco-City Tracker: A Clearing in the 'Airpocalypse' for China
• China Eco-City Tracker: The Upstream Battle for Drinkable Water
• China Eco-City Tracker: Tackling Trash Troubles with New Policies, Penalties
• China Eco-City Tracker: Lessons From the Danes and the Finns
• China Eco-City Tracker: Navigating the ‘Valley of Death’: Financing and Commercializing Canada’s Cleantech Industry
• China Eco-City Tracker: Gauging China's Commitment to Clean Technologies
• China Eco-City Tracker: Mapping the Decision-making of China's Cleantech Revolution