China

China, with the world’s largest population and second largest economy, is also home to two-thirds of the planet’s biodiversity. However, rapid growth has had an impact both on the environment and the quality of life of its inhabitants. AFD has had a presence in China since 2004 and is helping the country rise to meet the huge environmental challenge that it faces.
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Nature, Chine
AFD AND CHINA: RECONCILING GROWTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Nature, Chine

Reducing the environmental footprint of urban centres

La pollution en ville Chine

Reducing the environmental footprint of urban centres

China is in the throes of an accelerated urbanisation which brings in its wake a large increase in the energy footprint of its cities, local pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Heating without causing a rise in temperature

China is the world’s second largest market for urban heating. But its networks are inefficient, resulting in significant heat loss. And most are coal-based, with damaging effects on the environment.AFD is supporting a range of Chinese cities in creating or renovating their heating networks to improve their quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
AFD also supports China’s energy diversification policy. The investments are focused on small scale power plants, fed by clean energy (natural gas) that provide a range of services (electricity, steam, heating, cooling) to a group of users. One example is the trigeneration plant in Qingdao that we are financing.

Leading edge technologies for water and sanitation

China has more than a fifth of the world’s population, but only 7% of the world’s water resources. This relative penury goes hand in hand with large-scale pollution of both surface water and groundwater, particularly in the large cities.

Two major challenges are to: increase access to, and improve the quality of drinking water, and improve the treatment of wastewater and sewage sludge from sanitation, all the while reducing these services’ energy consumption. AFD is promoting leading edge technologies as well as the recovery and use of greenhouse gases from wastewater treatment and organic residues.
 

Promoting renewable energies

Parc éolien en chine, énergie

Promoting renewable energies

Energy in China is for the most part produced from coal, the main source of greenhouse gas emissions. The Chinese government has adopted an ambitious energy transition policy, the goal of which is to increase the share of renewable energies to 20% by 2030. AFD is there to help meet this target.

Developing alternative energy sources

One answer to this is to diversify the primary sources of energy. Another is to recover so-called ‘unavoidable’ or ‘residual’ heat: the share of the energy which is not consumed is reused to produce heat, electricity or cooling.

In Jinan, AFD is supporting a project to recover heat from treated wastewater for the city’s urban heating network. In Zibo, we have funded a project to recover industrial heat to feed into the urban heating network.

Backing a ‘green’ financing system

The environmental transition requires resources from financial institutions. According to China’s central bank, the requirement for investment could be in the region of 300 billion euros each year.

AFD has launched a ‘green finance’ co-operation programme with three Chinese banks: the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, the Huaxia Bank and the China Merchants Bank. In the space of ten years, 87 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects have been financed in 22 Chinese provinces, and more than 9,000 managers in the sector have been trained to respond to these challenges.

Protecting natural and cultural heritage

Village de Gongyu, Chine

Protecting natural and cultural heritage

China is home to two-thirds of the planet’s biodiversity. And this amazing abundance is matched by a cultural heritage which is equally exceptional: around thirty UNESCO World Heritage sites, 4,000 sites which are protected nationally and hundreds of thousands of traditional villages, and so forth. Protecting this heritage while deriving an economic benefit is vital.

AFD is supporting a range of projects to restore wetlands and to develop eco-tourism in Liaoning and Shanxi Provinces. In addition, a collaborative programme has been launched with the local authorities in Xianju County to create a national park. France’s experience with national and regional parks has been harnessed to determine how the future park will be managed and run.

28
projects financed over 12 years
13
million tons of CO2 avoided each year
450,000
hectares protected (wetlands and forests, for example).

Positioned in East Asia, China is the most populous country in the world (1.4 billion inhabitants). It is also a huge land mass which boasts an exceptional natural and cultural heritage.

Over the last thirty years, China has experienced unprecedented social and economic development to become the second ranking global economic power. But the country is also the leader in greenhouse gas emissions. Since the air, water and soil are heavily polluted, ecosystems and biodiversity are deteriorating rapidly. The cities have seen a demographic explosion with rural dwellers arriving in large numbers to seek work.

The environment is central to the strategic dialogue between France and China. AFD has been assisting the country for 15 years, through a partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Finance, and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). This co-operation is designed to harness the most innovative French know-how to help transition to an economy which respects the environment.

AFD’s involvement takes the form of loans to the State and local authorities as well as to companies and public banks. We have financed around 30 projects since 2004, to the tune of more than 1.3 billion euros.

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