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The Theory of Green Development

Abstract

The basis of human civilization has transformed from hunting to agriculture and then to modern industry; now a new ecological civilization, or green civilization, is needed. Although industrial civilization has achieved great things with “more massive and more colossal productive forces than…all preceding generations,” it has also adversely impacted nature more than all preceding generations, and the dissonance between humanity and nature is larger than ever. What is the biggest challenge for human development in the 21st century? We face unprecedented and serious natural crises, extreme climate change, unprecedented shortages of resources and energy, and continuing degradation of the global ecological environment. The question is one of survival as human development reaches a new crossroads: Which path will the world follow? What role will China play? The only correct answer is to resolutely develop an ecological civilization.

Keywords

  • Carbon Emission
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Natural Capital
  • International Energy Agency
  • Green Development

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Fig. 2.1
Fig. 2.2

Notes

  1. 1.

    UNDP: China Human Development Report 2002: Making Green Development a Choice, UNDP, 2002.

  2. 2.

    Research Center for Contemporary China of Tsinghua University, Hu An-gang and Wang Yahua: National conditions and development, page 187, Beijing, Tsinghua University Press, 2005.

  3. 3.

    The Research Group of Chinese Sustainable Development for Forestry Strategy in 2002 stated that the 21st century is the century of ecological civilization. Primitive civilization lasted about 1 million years, agricultural civilization has been with us for nearly 10,000 years, while industrial civilization has existed for only 300 years; the 21st century will be the century of ecological civilization. “Ecological civilization refers to an ideal civilization characterized by virtuous interactions between mankind and nature, one that follows harmonious social development, is developed from mankind’s spiritual and technological innovations, and which is in accordance with the inherent rules governing the functioning of both nature and society. The main objective of ecological civilization is to optimize and operate natural ecosystems and social–ecological systems to achieve ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable development.

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  4. 4.

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  5. 5.

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  6. 6.

    Zhuangzi, Qiwu Theory: “Nature and earth coexist with me and everything on earth is harmonious with me.”

  7. 7.

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  8. 8.

    Mencius, King Hui of Liang 1.

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  11. 11.

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  12. 12.

    Qian Mu said in his last article: “‘The unity of humanity and nature’ is the real destination of traditional Chinese culture, and I am convinced that Chinese culture’s contribution to the survival of mankind lies in it.” Qian Mu: Chinese culture’s contribution to future humanity, Xinya Monthly Journal, 1990 (12).

  13. 13.

    In fact, Dialectics of Nature, an unfinished book by Engels, is a summary of the natural science research that Engels undertook over the years. In the book, Engels appraised the main achievements of natural science in the mid-19th century using the method of dialectical materialism; he criticized metaphysics and idealism in natural science. Dialectics of Nature was not published during Engels’ lifetime; however, the article “Labor’s Role in the Transformation from Ape to Man” was published in 1896 after his death, and another article “Natural Science in the Spirit World” was published in 1898. Marx and Engels Library was published in the German and Russian translation until 1925 in the former Soviet Union.

  14. 14.

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  16. 16.

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  17. 17.

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  18. 18.

    Engels: Dialectics of Nature, Selected Works of Marx and Engels, volume 4, page 383–384, Beijing, People’s Publishing House, 1995.

  19. 19.

    In ancient Greek philosophy, humanity was always seen as a part of nature. The highest aims and ideals of humanity were seen as being not to exercise control over nature, but rather to wait and see how things developed, and to delve deep into nature as a part of nature and to understand the mysteries and vitality of nature.

  20. 20.

    Marx: Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, page 77, Beijing, People’s Publishing House, 1985.

  21. 21.

    Jiang Zemin: Speech at the National Flood Rescue Summary and Awards Ceremony (December 28, 1988), Selected Works of Jiang Zemin, volume 2, page 232–233, Beijing, People’s Publishing House, 2006.

  22. 22.

    In 1994, Hu Angang, with Liu Dongsheng, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (winner of the 2003 State Supreme Science and Technology Award and director of Guiyang Geochemistry of Chinese Academy of Sciences) and five other academicians went to Guizhou to carry out some investigation. Liu Dongsheng had talked about “three stages,” therefore the author (Hu Angang) was inspired to further discussion. Hu An-gang et al.: China’s natural disasters and economic development, Wuhan: Hubei Science and Technology Press, 1997.

  23. 23.

    Rachel Carson: Silent Spring, page 11, Shanghai, Shanghai Translation Publishing House, 2007.

  24. 24.

    Jiang Zemin pointed out in his speech at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 14th Central Committee of the CPC: “in modernization, we must take sustainable development as an important strategy and give population control, resource conservation, and environmental protection an important position, so that population growth is suitable to the social development of the productive forces, and economic construction is harmonious with resources and the environment to achieve a virtuous circle.” Jiang Zemin: Properly handle major relationships in the socialist modernization drive (September 28, 1995), Works of Jiang Zemin, volume I, page 463, Beijing, People’s Publishing House, 2006.

  25. 25.

    Jiang Zemin: Properly handle major relationships in the socialist modernization drive (September 28, 1995), Works of Jiang Zemin, volume I, page 464, Beijing, People’s Publishing House, 2006.

  26. 26.

    The decision of the CPC Central Committee on issues concerning improvement of the socialist market economic system (adopted at the Third Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on October 14, 2003).

  27. 27.

    World Environment and Development Committee: Our Common Future, 1987.

  28. 28.

    Jiang Zemin pointed out: “So-called sustainable development must take into account the current needs of development, but also the needs of future development; it must not sacrifice the interests of future generations to meet the interests of sustainable development of the current generation.” Jiang Zemin: Unswervingly Implement the Basic National Policy of Family Planning (March 10, 1996), Selected Works of Jiang Zemin, volume 1, page 518, Beijing, People’s Publishing House, 2006.

  29. 29.

    October 19, 1998, Joseph Stiglitz, Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank, in an address to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Conference held in Geneva.

  30. 30.

    United Nations Development Programme: Human Development Report of China in 2002: Green Development To Be an Option, UNDP, 2002.

  31. 31.

    Decision of the Central Committee of the CPC on Some Issues Concerning the Improvement of the Socialist Market Economy System (adopted at the Third Plenary Session of 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on October 14, 2003).

  32. 32.

    Hu Jintao: Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive for New Victories in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in all Respects—Report to the Seventeenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China (October 15, 2007).

  33. 33.

    Hu Jintao: Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive for New Victories in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in all Respects—Report to the Seventeenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China (October 15, 2007).

  34. 34.

    Zhang Peigang: Agriculture and Industrialization: Exploration of the Industrialization Issues of an Agricultural Country (1949), Wuhan, Central China Institute of Technology Press, 1984.

  35. 35.

    The author refers to the definition of industrialization by Zhang Peigang. Zhang Peigang: The agriculture and industrialization: exploration of the industrialization issues of an agricultural country (Chinese edition), page 70–71, Wuhan, Central China Institute of Technology Press, 1984.

  36. 36.

    IEA: World Energy Outlook 2009, Paris, IEA.

  37. 37.

    According to the latest Oxfam study, the average number of people affected by global climate change was 278 million in 1997–2008, and will reach 375 million, or a 45 % increase, by 2015. This will pose serious challenges to the global humanitarian response system. An IPCC report also stated that in the next 10 years at least 200 million people will lack drinking water in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. By the mid-21st century, there will be another 130 million people under threat of starvation in Asia. By 2100, crop revenues in Africa will be reduced by 90 %.

  38. 38.

    IEA: World Energy Outlook 2009, Paris, IEA.

  39. 39.

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  40. 40.

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  41. 41.

    Ecological capital is material and life wealth by nature to human, in which natural ecological capital refers to the part closely related to human activities objectively existing in nature, including sunlight, air, rivers, minerals, plants, animals, and microorganisms.

  42. 42.

    The United Nations Development Programme: Human Development Report 2010.

  43. 43.

    David W. Pierce: Dictionary of Modern Economics, 1981, Macmillan, revised in 1983.

  44. 44.

    Hu An-gang: China’s Rise to Power, page 41, Beijing, Peking University Press, 2007.

  45. 45.

    UNDP: Human Development Report 2010, UNDP.

  46. 46.

    World Bank: Expanding the Measure of Wealth: Indicators of Environmentally Sustainable Development, the Environment Department, the World Bank, 1997.

  47. 47.

    Natural resource depletion includes energy depletion, mineral depletion, net forest depletion, and particulate emissions damage. Depletion of natural resources is measured based on the rental value of mining and natural resources, which is the difference between the producer price and the total production cost based on world prices, including depreciation of fixed assets and return on capital.

  48. 48.

    The author believes that under the opening-up environment, domestic and international resources may increase the external natural capital input (net import of primary products). Hu Angang, Wang Yahua: National Conditions and Development, Tsinghua University Publishing House, 2005.

  49. 49.

    The author directly participated in the design of plan objectives and indicators.

  50. 50.

    National Long-term Talent Development Plan (2010–2020) (June 6, 2010).

  51. 51.

    Vice Premier Li Keqiang pointed out in the Seventh National Environmental Protection Conference that “It is expected that the output value of the energy-saving environmental protection industry will reach 12 trillion Yuan in the 12th Five-Year period, a significant increase over that in the Eleventh Five-Year period.” Xinhua News, Beijing, December 20, 2011.

  52. 52.

    According to data provided by the Zero2IPO Research Center, Chinese investment in clean energy grew 30 % to USD 51.1 billion in 2010, the largest amount invested in global clean energy by any country.

    http://www.chinabidding.com.cn/zbw/zxzx/zxzx_show.jsp?record_id=7057118.

    The National Energy Administration stated in The Emerging Strategic Industries Plan: from 2011 to 2020, the Chinese new energy industry will increase cumulative investment to RMB 5 trillion. China Economic Herald, December 31, 2011.

  53. 53.

    As shown in Fig. 2.2, the area under the green development curve is much smaller than that under the “black” development curve. The shaded area is the difference and represents the different cumulative losses of natural systems resulting from “black” and green development.

  54. 54.

    National Situation Research Group, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hu Angang, Wang Yi: Survival and Development, Beijing, Science Publishing House, 1989.

  55. 55.

    Zhang Ping: Guidance Book of the People’s Republic of China 12th Five-Year Plan on National Economic and Social Development, Beijing, People’s Publishing House, 2011.

  56. 56.

    High energy-consuming industries are defined as those in which the proportion of energy consumption with respect to total industrial consumption is more than 1.5 times the proportion of their industrial output with respect to total industrial output. For example, the three major sectors of China (iron and steel, building materials and non-metallic mining, and the chemical and petrochemical industries) accounted for only 1/5 of industrial added value in 2005, but their energy consumptions accounted for 2/3 of total industrial energy consumption (IEA 2007).

  57. 57.

    Green buildings are those in which green processes are used throughout the whole lifecycle of the building, i.e., maximized energy and resource savings, promotion of the use of renewable energy, protection of the environment and reduction of pollution, and the provision of a comfortable, healthy, suitable, and efficient space in harmony with nature.

  58. 58.

    The “equator principles” require financial institutions to assess projects that may affect the environment and society, and to use financial leverage to promote the project’s active role in environmental protection and harmonious development.

  59. 59.

    By the end of 2010, the Chinese government had approved 2846 CDM projects, of which 1186 projects had been successfully registered with the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board, accounting for 42.7 % of all global projects. The annual certified issuance emission reduction is about 2.7 tons for the registered projects, accounting for 62.4 % of the total global amount. Zhang Ping: Guidance Book of the People’s Republic of China 12th Five-Year Plan on National Economic and Social Development, Beijing, People’s Publishing House, 2011.

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Hu, A. (2017). The Theory of Green Development. In: China: Innovative Green Development. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-2806-9_2

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