China tool renewal boosts green transition

China’s climate goals: action plan calling for renewal of equipment can also boost green transition

In a circular issued on March 13, 2024, the State Council, China’s cabinet, released an action plan to promote large-scale equipment renewals and trade-ins of consumer goods to propel the high-quality development of its economy and to boost investment and consumption.

The South China Morning Post reported that in adition to stimulating the economy, the campaign “has the potential to create successful green stimulus’ according to a Greenpeace analyst. The SCMP also quoted ATRenew analysts as saying the plan’s promotion of a circular economy, second-hand trading and recycling are in line with current consumer trends in China.

The State Council emphasised that heavy industries such as iron and steel, cement and petrochemicals need to upgrade and replace their equipment with more energy-efficient and lower-emitting alternatives. Other sectors that have been ordered to renew large-scale equipment include construction and urban infrastructure, transport and agriculture, education and healthcare.

The State Council said in a news release:

By 2027, the investment scale of equipment in industries, agriculture, construction, transportation, education, culture and tourism, and healthcare should increase by more than 25 percent from 2023.

In industrial enterprises above the designated size, the penetration rate of digital research and development and design tools should exceed 90 percent, while the numerical control rate of key processes should surpass 75 percent by 2027.

Meanwhile, vigorous efforts should be made for renewal and technological transformation of manufacturing equipment, energy consuming equipment and power generation, transmission and distribution equipment to achieve energy saving and carbon emission reduction, ultra-low emission, safe production, digital transformation and smart upgrades in key sectors, the circular said.

The circular also urged accelerating the renewal of equipment for buildings and municipal infrastructure.

Continuous effort should be made to replace urban buses with electric ones, and widen the use of new energy ships powered by electricity, liquefied natural gas, biodiesel and green methanol.

More support should be given to eligible universities and vocational colleges to upgrade equipment for teaching and scientific research, while medical institutions also should be supported to upgrade their equipment and digital facilities.

The action plan called for efforts to promote trade-ins of consumer goods, including vehicles, home appliances and home decor goods.

It also encouraged improving the recycling network of waste and used products, second-hand goods circulation, as well as remanufacturing and cascade utilization, as in batteries.

The circular also stressed efforts to refine energy consumption, emissions and technology standards, and to improve technical standards of products. [End]