The projects are designed to transform waste into clean energy, reduce CO2 emissions, expand eco-friendly transport, and protect fragile wetland areas.
“These four projects support PRC’s transition to a lower-carbon growth path built on a long-term commitment to green urbanisation, better energy efficiency, and environmental preservation,” said Robert Wihtol, director general of ADB’s East Asia department. “We still have a long way to go, but with forward-looking planning and investment, the Chinese cities of the future can have clean air, blue skies, clean water and more green areas.”
ADB is providing a loan facility of US$200m for the development of biomass power plants that convert agricultural and municipal waste into clean energy. The project is designed to provide millions of people in Anhui, Jiangsu, Shandong and the southern provinces with reliable green energy, improved health and a cleaner living environment, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 638,000t a year.
A separate US$150m ADB loan will fund the expansion of district heating systems in northeastern Heilongjiang province, where temperatures can drop as low as -40°C in wintertime. An additional 270,000 households, who have predominantly relied on coal stoves for indoor heating, will benefit from the project, and without increasing net emission. This will remove a major cause of air pollution and respiratory diseases.
Two of western Gansu province’s poorest cities, home to approximately four million people, will benefit from US$100m in ADB assistance to promote better infrastructure for pedestrians and bicycle riders, and enhance road safety. The Gansu project will also restore 1,400ha of wetland habitats in Zhangye city that have been damaged by unsustainable water use for agriculture, rising populations and industrial production. The wetland is being promoted as a sustainable ecotourism site, creating job opportunities for local communities.
The final US$150m loan will facilitate the sustainable urbanisation of emerging towns in Liaoning by strengthening their infrastructure to support higher populations. More than 1.5 million people will benefit from the construction of a wastewater treatment plant, an upgraded heating network and expanded public green areas.