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 4 main portfolios including Biodiversity Conservation; Climate Change Mitigation; Montreal Protocol & Chemicals Management; Alternative Livelihoods & Renewable Energy; and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme. more

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Biodiversity Conservation

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

Video: Investing in Water

Our Stories

  • Women from the Straw Knitting Cooperative in Xianhe Village knit handicrafts out of straw

    Biodiversity Conservation

    Straws: From Unwanted Waste to Biomass Energy and Women Empowerment more

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China: Reducing Carbon Footprint

Projects and Initiatives

Environmentally Sound Management Throughout the Life Cycle of Electronic Equipment and Associated Wastes

China is considered the world’s largest current processor of e-waste derived from Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling, accounting for approximately 70% of global generation. more

Ningxia Anti-desertification and Livelihood Improvement Project

Alternative Livelihoods and Renewable Energy Project more

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Issue Briefs

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

Featured Issue Brief
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. 

This issue brief provides an overview of the UPOPs control in the Secondary Copper industry in China, alongside current institutional and legal arrangements and finally provides suggestions for the way forward in China.

Featured Op-Ed
Nations Need to Bind for Oceans - By Agi Veres

Collaborative mechanisms needed for the effective protection of the world’s oceans

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Featured Publication
Briefing Paper on E-waste Recycling and Disposal & Low Carbon Development

The E-waste Recycling and Disposal & Low Carbon Development seminar, co-organized by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China and Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO) of Ministry of Environment Protection (MEP), was held on January 21st, 2015. Stakeholders from various sectors convened in Beijing to discuss e-waste management, sparking debates on challenges and prospects of the e-waste industry. Positioned as an open and partnership-building platform, the seminar has successfully yielded an array of innovative solutions and unconventional ideas.

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