The political report emerging from China’s recent Party Congress said that the country needs to “build an ecological civilisation”. It’s a remark that has attracted widespread attention. It represents an attempt by China’s leaders to redefine the model of growth that China should follow, taking into account an objective analysis of severe problems the country faces in terms of resources. It also represents the state of Chinese thinking on the future of global civilisation in the light of the world’s shared environmental challenges.
Attention has now focused on China. The country’s economy has grown rapidly, but we are paying a high price in terms of our resources and environment. China currently leads the world in terms of resources consumption and pollution emissions. Ultimately, our model of industrial civilisation is unsustainable. Large-scale production and consumption by western nations has wreaked havoc on the global environment. As countries like India and China attempt to join the club of rich nations, the problems are becoming more acute. The global environment is heading quicker than ever towards crisis point. And it is with this background that China’s leadership put forward its “ecological civilisation” plan. It has profound implications not only for China’s hopes of maintaining long-term growth, but also for attempts to guarantee the security of the global environment. [Full Text]
[Image source: China Dialogue]