Introduction to the Low Carbon Urban Development Program
While China’s unprecedented urbanization in the past decades has largely contributed to improving the living conditions for millions of citizens, it has also substantially increased the country’s carbon footprint. A third of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions can be traced back to buildings and their energy use. Therefore, the building sector poses a tremendous opportunity to mitigate climate change.
This prospect has been recognized by German and Chinese partner ministries and other organizations alike. The Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working on low carbon urban development in China since 2005, drawing on extensive knowledge of German experts, municipalities and companies. Originally focusing chiefly on technical aspects to improve the energy efficiency situation in Chinese cities, the activities of the Low Carbon Urban Development Program have continuously adapted to the partners’ needs and built on past experiences.
Current projects specifically focus on integrated energy efficiency solutions for cities and urban districts as well as increased capacities at different levels in order to assist in the application of low carbon urban development policies in China. This contains joint-work with the Chinese partners on the formulation of low carbon concepts and plans, their professional implementation and an effective quality control. In the ongoing projects, a holistic approach to climate friendly and sustainable urban planning is favored in order to minimize fossil energy use, integrate renewable energy sources and thus mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from urban areas. The outputs contribute to the improvement of quality of living in Chinese cities.