||The TA will assist the PRC Government's effort to strengthen the capacity of small and medium sized cities to address climate change and pursue low-carbon city development through knowledge sharing. Drawing national and international experiences especially from the Republic of Korea, Japan, the United States and other European countries, the objective of the TA is to develop a national low-carbon development strategy and its policy guidelines for small and medium sized city in the PRC. This will be implemented by: (i) reviewing the current status of the PRC's small and medium sized city development and their environmental challenge/s, as well as identifying the bottlenecks of urban management; (ii) reviewing and analyzing national and international best policies and practices on urban development, in terms of (a) promoting changes in urban lifestyle and resource consumption pattern, (b) energy and resource use efficiency in residential, commercial and industrial sector, and (c) efficient urban land use and transport planning; (iii) analyzing the applicability of the best practice and policy to different types of cities in the PRC; (iv) drafting a national low-carbon city development strategy and policy guidelines for small and medium sized city development in the PRC; and (v) finalizing national strategy and policy guidelines by consulting with relevant agencies and ministries in the PRC, and holding a knowledge sharing capacity building workshop to disseminate TA findings to key stakeholders.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
It is currently estimated that the PRC's urban population will reach 787 million (55% of the total population) in 2020, and 1,038 million (73%) in 2050 compared with 575 million (43%) in 2008. The trend is projected to continue even when the total population hits its peak at 1.458 billion in 2030, of which 1 billion is estimated to live in cities. New city development is being triggered by urban population expansion. In 2025, cities with more than 1 million inhabitants will increase from 100 in 2007 to approximately 220, while small and medium sized urban centers will emerge even more to accommodate rural migrants. City expansion and the emergence of new cities create significant environmental pressures. Increasing city activities will trigger sharp increase in environmental pollution on air, water and solid waste as well as greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. Additional infrastructure requires massive use of cement and steel, which is also responsible for large indirect GHG emissions during the production and transportation process. To illustrate the impact of rural urban migration, per capita energy consumption in urban areas is considered to be 3.5-4 times higher than that of rural areas in the PRC.
The Government considers urbanization as an opportunity to expand domestic demand while promoting pollution-free, resource-efficient, and low-carbon urban development to support a harmonious and prosperous society. Under the current 11th FYP (2006-2010), the Government is committed towards protecting the environment by reversing current trends in energy consumption per gross domestic product (GDP), as well as decreasing environmental pollution loads in the atmosphere (sulfur dioxide) and surface water bodies (chemical oxygen demand). In November 2009, the State Council announced the national target of reducing the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by 40% to 45% compared with 2005 levels. At the same time, promoting energy efficiency and green economy require PRC cities to boost their capacity for climate change mitigation. In large cities, notable efforts are currently underway such as the C40 initiative where Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, China are part. Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning province and one of the old industrial areas in Northeast PRC, has also been chosen as a pilot of the Sustainable Cities Program of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (UNCHS). There is knowledge gap, however, in guiding small and medium sized cities to pursue low carbon economy and development, therefore becoming energy and resource efficient at each stage of development. Since small and medium sized city development is inevitable and is considered as a main driver of the PRC economy, it is vital to guide its development to achieve large savings on capital investments and marginal abatement costs of GHG reduction in order to achieve economic and environmental sustainability.
The TA is consistent with (i) ADB's Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for the PRC (2008?2010) where urban environmental improvement is considered part of resource efficiency and environmental sustainability, one of four main pillars of the CPS; (ii) ADB's Strategy 2020 emphasizing climate change and livable city as main components of environmentally sustainable growth, a core area of operation to achieve ADB's vision and new strategic agenda; and (iii) ADB's Urban Sector Strategy, which supports policy for urban management (i.e., environment, land and institution) as one of six policy priorities.
The scope of the TA fits well within the PRC's national long-term goal of building a harmonious and moderately prosperous society. Resource-efficient urban development is identified as one of 11 core areas of development for the National Economic and Social Development under the Medium and Long term Science and Technology Development Plan 2006?2020. The PRC's National Climate Change Program (2007) also identified challenges such as decoupling economic growth (in terms of per capita GDP) and GHG emissions as well as seeking an innovative and sustainable development for the country.