Quanzhou shows way in go-green initiatives

By LIU YUKUN in Beijing and HU MEIDONG in Fuzhou| China Daily| Updated: Dec 26, 2023 L M S


A drone image shows Yongxi Reservoir — an improved water resource — in Quanzhou, Fujian province. The city has invested 4.7 billion yuan to boost tap water supply for rural areas, said the Quanzhou water resources bureau. [PHOTO/CHINA DAILY]

Quanzhou in Fujian province is ramping up investments, establishing a dynamic project pool and optimizing support services to fortify its go-green effort.

Experts said these moves are not only accelerating its commitment to the environment, but also injecting fresh vigor into the local economy, offering valuable insights for other cities that seek green transformation.

Earlier this year, Quanzhou's ecology and environment bureau set up a dedicated team to oversee investment-related activities.

In June, Quanzhou unveiled the requirements for ecological and environmental governance projects and called for investment proposals.

Six projects were successfully signed, covering areas such as water source protection and water environment management, with a total investment of 10.1 billion yuan ($1.4 billion).

Meanwhile, Quanzhou has made public a series of projects related to ecological and environmental protection that had sought investment.

This year, Quanzhou's ecology and environment bureau planned 202 projects, with a total investment exceeding 26.8 billion yuan.

"By planning and implementing various ecological and environmental governance projects, the city has mobilized local finances, financial institutions and social capital to advance environmental initiatives," said Lin Qingmei, deputy head of Quanzhou's ecology and environment bureau.

The local government has also actively optimized the business environment and enhanced project support services.

Key projects that met ecological and environmental requirements have received support, including strengthened guidance and shorter administrative processes to facilitate early production.

"Buoyed by China's strong green commitment, many cities have launched ecological preservation and environmental protection projects. Currently, most such projects rely on government subsidies. It is relatively challenging for them to attract investment and generate profits," said Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University in Fujian.

"Quanzhou's ecological and environmental protection projects have excelled in attracting investment. If they can develop a model that is commercialized, sustainable and doesn't require government subsidies, it could be of great value for further reference to other cities," Lin said.

In December, the State Council, or China's Cabinet, released an action plan to improve air quality and promote clean energy development.

It said that by 2025, the concentrations of particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller (PM2.5) in cities at or above the prefectural level are targeted to decrease by 10 percent compared to 2020.

The proportion of days that are classified as severely polluted or above should be controlled within 1 percent by then.

Additionally, there should be a reduction of over 10 percent in both nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds emissions compared to levels recorded in 2020.

Aside from calling for stepped-up government efforts to support greener development, the action plan also emphasized the importance of leading companies, which are set to play a significant role in promoting low emissions, environment preservation and pollution treatment.