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Sci-tech innovation key to regional low-carbon growth

With the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in full swing, low-carbon-oriented practices have become an important factor for regional economic growth.

Early in 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping said it is an important national strategy to achieve coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, involving exploration of an effective path of ecological civilisation construction and promoting the coordinated progress in population, economy, resources and environment.

The national strategy for regional development addresses unbalanced development, tackles pollution and seeks a new means of growth. It demands local authorities abandon their old selfish mindset and see the bigger picture.

In recent years, Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province have undertaken various measures to deepen cooperation in environmental protection.

A recent report released by China Science Publishing & Media Ltd. (CSPM) offered an evaluation on the efficiency of energy saving and emission reduction from 2005 to 2014 among 10 cities in the region, namely Beijing, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Baoding, Cangzhou, Shijiazhuang, Langfang, Zhangjiakou, Chengde and Tangshan.

Beijing owns the greatest number of research institutes and universities, and is quite rich in scientific and technological innovations.

Jia Pinrong, researcher, Beijing Academy of Science and Technology

It found Beijing ranked the first with the highest efficiency, followed by Tianjin, with the gap continually narrowing between the capital and the other nine cities. Compared with Tokyo, these cities have great potential to catch up with the world advanced level.

It said scientific and technological innovation is the core driving force for regional low-carbon growth. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region should take its advantage in this aspect, and put technological advances into full practice, including energy-saving technology, renewable energy technology, de-carbonisation and carbon sequestration technology.

Jia Pinrong, a researcher of Beijing Academy of Science and Technology who led the study, said the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region should explore a new mechanism to promote cooperation and innovation of low-carbon technology, in a bid to achieve horizontal collaboration among universities, research institutes and enterprises.

“Beijing owns the greatest number of research institutes and universities, and is quite rich in scientific and technological innovations,” Jia said, adding that Tianjin has the most advanced high-tech industries, while the advantage of Hebei Province lies in the upgrading of the manufacturing industry.

The three need to set up a public service platform to promote innovation-driven low-carbon development in the region, he said.

The report provides a theoretical support for the follow-up study on the low-carbon technological progress in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The final research results will be released at the end of the year, aiming to help policy-makers with ideas to achieve the coordinated and sustainable development of the region.

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