Green development requires everyone’s efforts, and each of us can promote and practice green living. China actively promotes the values and ideas of eco-environmental conservation, raises public awareness to conserve resources and protect the eco-environment, and advocates the practice of a simpler, greener, and low-carbon lifestyle, creating a conducive social atmosphere for jointly promoting green development.
1. Continuing progress towards raising conservation awareness
China places particular emphasis on cultivating its citizens’ conservation awareness. It organizes systematic publicity and other awareness raising activities in this regard, and advocates a social environment and lifestyle of diligence and frugality. Publicity activities themed on National Energy-Saving Publicity Week, China’s Water Week, National Urban Water-Saving Week, National Low-Carbon Day, National Tree-Planting Day, World Environment Day, the International Day for Biological Diversity, and Earth Day, are organized on a regular basis to encourage and persuade the whole of society to engage in green development activities.
The idea of eco-friendly living has become widely accepted in families, communities, factories, and rural areas. Material on green development has been incorporated into China’s national education system through compiling textbooks on eco-environmental conservation and carrying out education in primary and secondary schools on the condition of national resources including forests, grasslands, rivers and lakes, land, water and grain. Respect for and love of nature have been advocated. Environmental Code of Conduct for Citizens (for Trial Implementation) was published to guide the public to follow a green lifestyle. As a result, a culture of ecological and environmental protection has joined the mainstream and been cherished by all.
2. Widespread initiatives to promote eco-friendly lifestyles
China has launched initiatives to promote the building of resource conserving Party and government offices, and develop eco-friendly families, schools, communities, transport services, shopping malls, and buildings, popularizing eco-friendly habits in all areas including clothing, food, housing, transport, and tourism. To date, 70 percent of Party and government offices at and above county level are now committed to resource conservation, almost 100 colleges and universities have realized smart monitoring of water and electricity consumption, 109 cities have participated in green transport and commutes initiatives. Household waste sorting has been widely promoted in cities at or above prefecture level.
Much progress is being made as residents gradually adopt the habit of sorting their waste. The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Food Waste has been enacted, and initiatives launched to promote food saving and curb food waste including a “clean plate” campaign on a large scale, which have yielded remarkable results as more people are saving food.
3. Growing market of green products
China has actively promoted energy-saving and low-carbon products such as new-energy vehicles and energy-efficient household appliances. It has provided tax reductions or exemptions and government subsidies for new-energy vehicles and continued to improve charging infrastructure. As a result, the sales of new-energy vehicles have rapidly risen from 13,000 in 2012 to 3.52 million in 2021. For the seven years since 2015, China has ranked first in the world in the production and sales of new-energy vehicles.
In addition, China has steadily improved the certification and promotion system for green products and the green government procurement system, implemented an energy efficiency and water efficiency labeling system to encourage the consumption of green products. It has promoted the construction of green infrastructure in the circulation sector such as green shopping malls, and supported new business models such as the sharing economy and second-hand transactions. There is a richer variety of green products and a growing number of people who spend on green products.