Green is gold: the strategy and actions of China’s ecological civilization

Almost one quarter of China will be covered in forest by 2020 if the country succeeds in its mission towards building an "eco-civilization", a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) finds. The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the first universally binding climate change agreement signed last year in Paris have renewed hopes that the world can shift to a low-carbon economy that uses natural resources more efficiently and fosters green economic growth. UNEP's Green is Gold report looks at the environmental dimension of China's 13th five-year plan. As part of this plan, China has vowed that, by 2020, it will have decreased water consumption by 23 per cent, energy consumption by 15 per cent and CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 18 per cent. By 2020, China's forest coverage will reach more than 23 per cent and the share of days per year with good air quality in cities at the prefectural level will exceed 80 per cent if the country succeeds in building its "eco-civilization" - a resource-saving, environmentally-friendly society that seeks to integrate ecological development with economic, social, cultural and political development.