Low-Carbon Urban Development in China

Policy and practices

Authored by: Liu Wenling , Wang Can

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Policy in China

Print publication date:  April  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138831117
eBook ISBN: 9781315736761
Adobe ISBN:


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Cities are major contributors of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG); more than 70 per cent of global GHG emissions come from cities (Khanna et al. 2014). Due to high population agglomeration, cities are also particularly vulnerable to climate impacts. China already has the highest number and largest size of cities in its history, and in recent decades these cities have been causing severe environmental problems. Among the ten most polluted cities in the world, seven are Chinese cities (Zhang and Crooks 2012). China's rapid urbanization has created mass migration from rural areas to urban centres. This migration comes with energy- and climate-related challenges (Wang et al. 2014). Urban energy use is estimated to be three times higher than that of rural areas (excluding non-commercial energy consumption) (Liu et al. 2013). The increasing demand for energy and other resources, as well as the high emissions in urban China, have become a great challenge for the entire world, forcing researchers to rethink the way that they understand urban development.

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