The goal of “greening” from economies

Promoting sustainable development goals is a global trend and no economy in the world wants to be left out. A series of ambitious strategies have been actively carried out by countries, marking substantial progress in the development process towards green transformation.

 Yangshan Deep-Water Port in Shanghai, China (Photo: Reuters)
Yangshan Deep-Water Port in Shanghai, China (Photo: Reuters)

China has just announced a plan to promote green growth within the industry toward the goal of carbon neutrality. According to a plan published by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, enterprises operating in the industrial sector, which have a minimum annual turnover of 20 million yuan (about 2.96 million USD), will reduce energy consumption by 13.5% per unit of value added compared to 2020. The plan also targets that the share of vehicles powered by new and clean energy will account for about 40% of all new vehicles. CO2 emissions from passenger cars and commercial vehicles will decrease by 25% and 20% respectively compared to 2020.

ASEAN and the Republic of Korea (RoK) have actively strengthened cooperation in the field of green economy and determined that energy transformation is not an easy task but requires a large investment and effective technology transfer. The RoK was committed to supporting the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF), an initiative to contribute technical and financial support to sustainable infrastructure projects in Southeast Asian countries. ASEAN and the RoK have also been planning to organise the ASEAN – RoK Carbon Dialogue which aims to facilitate the exchange of experiences among stakeholders on carbon pricing shortly.

Since his early days in office, President Joe Biden has advanced the ambitions of the US, the No.1 economy and the second largest emitter in the world. In a document submitted to the United Nations under the Paris Agreement on climate change, the US pledged to reduce emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels in 2030. The US Department of State recently emphasised that the US is committed to taking advantage of today's opportunities and doing everything possible both in the country and abroad to ensure that the decisive decade in the fight against climate change and environmental protection is not wasted.

Experts predicted that the "blue sea economy" will soon shape the future of the oceans in Canada, which has the longest coastline in the world. The term "blue sea economy” was first championed by small-island developing countries, including Fiji and Bahamas, to bring more local benefits from marine economic sectors. The development of the blue ocean economy means the establishment of oceanic spaces and industries that are socially just, environmentally sustainable and economically profitable.

The European Commission (EC) has also recently approved a support package of 2.98 billion USD specifically for Germany to promote the development of the renewable energy sector, thereby ensuring Berlin and EU member states will achieve their climate change goals. This support package will help develop the green energy sector per the German Government’s plan, that an energy grid system for cooking or heating based on at least 75% clean energy, will be put into operation by 2028.

The individual green transition and climate action strategies of the countries are ambitious. However, environmental activists said there is still a "gap" in providing finance to vulnerable countries to help them cope with climate change. In 2009, developed countries pledged to contribute 10 billion USD per year to support countries vulnerable to the impacts of increasingly severe natural disasters and climate change. However, to date, this commitment has not been met by rich countries. The UN's mid-year climate conference ended without substantive progress on greenhouse gas reductions and climate change adaptation goals, leaving much work ahead of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC COP27), which is scheduled to take place in Egypt this November.

Translated by NDO