Environment and Energy

China’s development in recent decades has seen impressive reductions in poverty and great improvement in other key indicators. However, this rapid growth has come at a cost, which has left China’s environment in poor shape and its consumption patterns unsustainable from an ecological perspective. Unless urgent action is taken, environmental degradation has the potential to negatively affect China’s hard-won development gains.

Our Goals

UNDP works with key stakeholders in China, including the government and the public, to address environmental concerns in the country in line with the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), China’s 13th Five-Year Plan while also fulfill its commitment towards multi-lateral environment agreement. Under the Energy & Environment focus area, the Country Office has ran portfolios including Biodiversity Conservation; Climate Change Mitigation; Montreal Protocol; Chemicals and POPs Management; Alternative Livelihoods & Renewable Energy; and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme.Find Out About the Environment and Energy Portfolios >

Biodiversity Conservation

Local herdsman protecting migratory birds, part of a UNDP biodiversity conservation project in Gansumore

Our Stories

A fleet of fuel cell buses help the Ministry of Science and Technology promote an environmentally-friendly Olympics, providing transport at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Alternative Livelihoods and Renewable Energy

Since the 1990’s, China’s rapid growth has rested on the expansion of heavy industry and urbanisation. As the country’s economy surges and its middle class grows, pollution too has reached critical levels. more 

Li and other tea farmers cultivating Xinyang Maofeng tea in the mountainous regions of Xinyang Municipal
Biodiversity Conservation

As a seasoned tea farmer, Li Mingshui is well acquainted with Xinyang Maofeng tea, one of the most famous green teas in China. “To cultivate the best tea leaves, it is important to find a place with amiable weather and quality water supplymore 

The façade of a new dwelling in Wangyu, built with energy-efficient bricks.
Climate Change Mitigation

Wang Jingli has lived in the region around Wangyu village in China’s Hebei province for almost thirty years. The region, located in the mountainous area north of Shihe District, Qinhuangdao is famous for cherry cultivation and rural tourism. Wangyu’s local population of 938 used to live across five separate villages. In the past, the village residents had to cope with a lack of public facilities and social infrastructure such as inadequate drainage, non-existent central heating and no public green spaces.more 

YANG LIQUN is an Engineer at the Hubei Provincial Solid Waste and Chemical Management and Pollution Prevention and Treatment Center
Montreal Protocol, Chemicals and POPs Management

I have a degree in Applied Chemistry, but I did not know much about Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and their damaging nature until I started working on pesticide management in 2007 in Hubei Province. Through my job I learnt that improper dismantling and processing of e-waste releases organic pollutants that have a detrimental impact on human health and the environmentmore 

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China: Reducing Carbon Footprint

Projects and Initiatives

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Issue Briefs

  • Endosulfan Phasing-Out in China

    Endosulfan is an insecticide that has been phasing out globally due to its acute toxicity, potential for bioaccumulation, and its role as an endocrine disrupter that can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Because of its threats to human health and the environment, a global ban on the manufacture and use of endosulfan was negotiated under the Stockholm Convention in April 2011.more 

  • UPOPs control in the Secondary Copper Production Sector in China

    Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemicals that adversely affect human health and environmental quality when released into the air, water or soil. These pollutants persist in the environment, bio-accumulate through the food web, and cause great damage to human and animal tissue even in small quantities. This leads to damage in the nervous, immune, and reproductive systems or can causes developmental disorders, such as cancer. more 

  • Biodiversity Conservation in China

    As one of seventeen mega-biodiversity countries in the world, China harbors nearly 10% of all plant species and 14% of animals on earth. Biodiversity not only helps maintain the productivity of ecosystem, but also supports food security, helps humans adapt to the climate change, and provides important resources for medicine. Important as it is, the rapid social-economic development in China has put its biodiversity, and the genetic resources (GR) found within, under increasing pressures.more 

  • Fuel Cell Vehicle Development in China

    With rapid industrialization, urbanization and growth since the 1990s, China has become the world’s largest producer and consumer of energy, and the largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs). These GHG emissions contribute to climate change, as well as severe air pollution that causes health problems around the country. With the rapid growth in China’s auto market, transportation sector has taken account of 10 to 15 percent of the overall energy consumption in China. New energy vehicles like Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCVs) that powered by renewable hydrogen and emit nothing but water provides a solution to reduce the GHGs. This issue brief discusses the opportunities, challenges and the way forward for the FCVs development in China. more 

  • Air Pollution in China

    Air pollution in China has been making headlines around the world with hazardous haze blanketing Beijing for extended periods of time in 2013 and 2014, while a dust storm in March 2015 broke monitoring equipment in the nation’s capital. In early 2015, Under the Dome, a video by journalist Chai Jing that effectively communicated the scope of China’s air pollution problems to a popular audience went viral, wracking up over 200 million views, before being pulled from Chinese websites. There is no question that the problem is serious; however, air quality has been slowly improving in China since the 1990s.more 

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