As House Republicans voted this weekend to cut funding to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – part of a plan that would reduce environmental protection spending by a third if enacted – China prepared for the release of its staunchly progressive and environmentally friendly five year economic plan. The plan, due out in March, calls for significant cuts in pollution and vast increases to green energy investment, and is being heralded as the “greenest strategy document in the country’s history.”
Economic professor Hu Angang of Tsinghua University acted as a consultant on China’s new economic plan, and considers the blueprint an “opportunity for China to lead the green revolution, which will de-link growth and carbon dioxide emissions.” Though the plan fails to address emissions stemming from China’s growing agricultural production and livestock industries, it focuses heavily on energy related emissions and calls for increased investment in nuclear, hydropower, wind and solar technologies
The plan also examines the country’s transportation emissions and emphasizes the development of its high speed rail network. While the Obama administration continues to push Congress on the authorization of a high speed rail budget, China has set to work laying down its tracks. According to the Guardian, China’s high speed rail network, which was nonexistent in 2008, will be longer than the rest of the world’s high speed rails systems combined by 2013.