Guangzhou is planning for an increasing population and rising demand for energy with the a multi-sector, low-carbon plan for green growth, targeting industry, infrastructure, and buildings.

The Challenge

With energy consumption already high and demand increasing in urban and industrial areas, Guangzhou aims to reduce its carbon emissions while maintaining growth by focusing on industrial planning, architecture, transportation, government agencies, and residential communities.

The Solution

Guangzhou, a megacity with a population exceeding 13 million, is still in a stage of rapid economic development and urban construction. In 2012, Guangzhou launched the Pilot Low Carbon City Implementation Plan in an effort to reduce greenhouse emissions through systematic measures in the growing city. The plan includes the elimination of outdated industrial capacity and equipment and the promotion of energy-efficient technologies and green, low-carbon buildings. Transport infrastructure is also being targeted, with a new public transport system mainly based on rail transit. Both market mechanisms, such as limiting entry permits for high-carbon projects to control greenhouse gas emissions, and institutional mechanisms, such as stricter emissions standards, have been used to promote low-carbon development under the plan. Green industries have developed quickly in the city, with an added value of $4.2 billion in 2014, an 11.1% increase compared to the previous year. As a commitment to the plan, Guangzhou announced in 2015 it will reach its carbon emissions peak by 2020.

Environmental Benefits – The plan promotes environmental improvements by strengthening forest carbon sequestration with afforestation and the low-carbon disposal of biochemical waste.

Social Benefits – In constructing new rail transit, the plan reduces traffic on the roads, with residents spending less time commuting to and from work.

Economic Benefits – Guangzhou’s target is to reduce CO2 emissions per $1,500 of GDP by 40% or more by 2020 compared to 2010.

Health Benefits – Due to the plan’s initiatives, Guangzhou’s air quality standard was met 85% of days in 2015, an increase of 8% compared to the year before.

About Cities100

In its second year, Cities100 – presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation. For the first time, this year’s publication features solutions that address the nexus of climate change and social equity.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments. You can access the full Cities100 2016 publication online here and read more about how may­ors will de­liver the aims of the Paris Agree­ment in a fore­ward by Anne Hidalgo, C40 Chair and Mayor of Paris, here.

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Health
  • Social
Key Impact
35.9 MtCO2 emissions reduced between 2010 and 2014
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