Huzhou recognized nationally for green development

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: Aug 19, 2022

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A view of Yucun village, Anji county, East China's Zhejiang province. [Photo/WeChat account: huzhoufabu]

Huzhou in East China's Zhejiang province has been a national model for green and low-carbon development.

According to an article published by the National Development and Reform Commission on Aug 17, Huzhou has rolled out a string of innovative polices and measures to make its development greener in recent years.

Factors including resource consumption, environmental damage and ecological benefits have been included in the city's social and economic development appraisal system.

Huzhou is among the first cities in the country to pilot the Gross Ecosystem Product (GEP) accounting system. The city has also seen great improvement in its ecology thanks to the sustained efforts in pollution treatment and ecological restoration.

The PM2.5 concentration in Huzhou's urban area dropped from 42 micrograms per cubic meter in 2017 to 25 micrograms per cubic meter in 2021, a decrease of 40.5 percent. In reference to this, a local official noted that the city has taken just five years to achieve what developed Western countries had taken decades to achieve.

In 2021, the city's afforestation rate climbed to 48.23 percent, resulting in greater biodiversity in the region.

Meanwhile, the local government has made continuous efforts to promote green transformation in industrial production and lifestyle.

A campaign has been launched by Huzhou to phase out polluting enterprises in sectors including textiles, dyeing, printing and battery. To date, about 3,000 such enterprises have been shut down.

In 2021, Huzhou unveiled a system which classifies companies related to metal smelting, textiles and other high energy consumption sectors according to their carbon emissions and output value.

Companies can check which of the five grades they belong to by scanning a QR code. The carbon emissions are calculated based on energy consumption data. The system, which is the first of its kind in China, has been promoted across Zhejiang. Presently, 3,800 companies above designated size in Huzhou and more than 5,000 enterprises of similar size in Zhejiang have been using the system.

In addition, Huzhou has been actively improving the use of clean energies.

In Huzhou's Anji county, the combined installed capacity of the Changlongshan and Tianhuangping pumped-storage power stations has reached 3.9 million kilowatts.       

In Meishan town, Changxing county, a 35-kilometer conveyor belt, the longest of its kind in the world, now runs through the mountains, carrying cement clinkers to a nearby wharf. The first cross-provincial logistics project in China that is completely powered by electricity, it can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 8,566.8 metric tons per year.

In addition, efforts have been made to facilitate the replacement of diesel with electricity in port operations within the city. In 2017, the city rolled out the nation's first construction plan for shore power facilities at inland river ports.

A documentary showcasing Huzhou's achievements in green port development was aired at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, or COP 26, in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021.

Furthermore, the local government has also taken steps to make lifestyle greener.

Huzhou has been ranked first in Zhejiang in terms of the promotion of household garbage sorting thrice.

All buses running on roads in the city are now completely powered by electricity and support mobile payment systems, according to local media reports