MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $600 million for a package of green projects that will transform waste into clean energy, reduce CO2 emissions, expand eco-friendly transport, and protect fragile wetland areas in fast-growing second-tier cities in the People's Republic of China (PRC).

"These four projects support PRC's transition to a lower-carbon growth path built on a long-term commitment to green urbanization, better energy efficiency, and environmental preservation," said Robert Wihtol, Director General of ADB's East Asia Department. "We still have a long way to go, but with forward-looking planning and investment, the Chinese cities of the future can have clean air, blue skies, clean water and more green areas."

ADB is providing a loan facility of $200 million for the development of biomass power plants that convert agricultural and municipal waste into clean energy. The project will provide millions of people in Anhui, Jiangsu, Shandong and the southern provinces with reliable green energy, improved health and a cleaner living environment, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 638,000 tons a year.

A separate $150 million ADB loan will fund the expansion of district heating systems in northeastern Heilongjiang province, where temperatures can drop as low as -40 degrees centigrade in wintertime. An additional 270,000 households, who have predominantly relied on coal stoves for indoor heating, will benefit from the project, and without increasing net emission. This will remove a major cause of air pollution and respiratory diseases, especially among women and children.

Two of western Gansu province's poorest cities, home to approximately 4 million people, will benefit from $100 million in ADB assistance to promote better infrastructure for pedestrians and bicycle riders, and enhance road safety.

This Gansu project will also restore 1,400 hectares of wetland habitats in Zhangye city that have been damaged by unsustainable water use for agriculture, rising populations and industrial production. The wetland is being promoted as a sustainable ecotourism site, creating job opportunities for local communities.

The final $150 million loan will facilitate the sustainable urbanization of emerging towns in Liaoning by strengthening their infrastructure to support higher populations. More than 1.5 million people will benefit from the construction of a wastewater treatment plant, an upgraded heating network and expanded public green areas.

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