On China Dialogue, Alex Pasternack argues for more green buildings in China’s construction boom:
Though greenhouse gases have not always been a priority for China’s leaders, the rhetoric is getting stronger. “More work on energy conservation and emissions reduction is urgently required to deal with global climate change,” premier Wen Jiabao said recently. No doubt, highly-polluting industries, like coal and concrete factories, play a significant role. But as the Ministry of Construction also noted, the building sector is the country’s easiest target for reduction and conservation. If China can make all of today’s big buildings more energy efficient, the ministry concluded, the country could reduce its coal use by 135 million tonnes a year.
There are of course other reasons for China to turn its grey buildings green; there is a considerable monetary incentive. As oil supplies become harder to reach as half of the country’s energy goes into buildings, up from 10% in the 1970s, green design is no longer just a nice or cool thing to do; it’s becoming an economic necessity. [Full text]