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’s focus has been on helping China achieve the goals of the 12th Five-Year Plan while also improving compliance with Multilateral Agreements such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the UN Convention on Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol. We do this by providing technical assistance for policy and legal reform, technology transfers and capacity building to address these issues. Looking forward UNDP will continue to work with China to achieve the goals of the recently adopted 13th Five-Year Plan.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

    Straws: From Unwanted Waste to Biomass Energy and Women Empowerment

    Straw was once welcomed by villagers in Xianhe village, Shanxi province as the agricultural by-product that could be used as food to feed the animals and fuel to heat up the stoves and clay beds. With China’s rapid development in technology and economy, farmers no longer consider straw as an essential commodity but instead burn it as unwanted waste during the harvest season. more

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  • Residents in Zhaofeng District, Tianjin are taking handicrafts class at the heated centre.

    Heating the Community Centre with Cleaner Air

    Together with approximately 9,000 residents, Zhang Shaocheng lives in Zhaofeng, an old district in Tianjiang. In the past during the smoggy winters, they had to bear the repugnant smell of diesel fumes and lived in constant fear of a potential boiler explosion.more

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

This project aims to assist the efforts of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Regional Government to better manage sand control initiatives and improve the livelihood of the selected dryland and desert affected regions of Ningxia. more

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Projects under the Small Grants Programme

As a corporate programme funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Small Grants Programme was established in 1992, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on behalf of the GEF partnership, and executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). SGP channels financial and technical support directly to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) for activities that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods. SGP supports activities in these priorities - biodiversity conservation, abatement of climate change , protection of international waters, prevention of land degradation and elimination of persistent organic pollutants. With presence in more than 125 countries, SGP has awarded more than 14,000 grants worldwide. more

Issue Briefs

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
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. 

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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