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UNIDO: China needs greener agenda

China's economy is one of the world's largest consumers of oil.

By Daniel J. Graeber
UNIDO: China needs greener agenda
Chinese government needs to include sustainable growth models in order to economy thriving, UNIDO says. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

BEIJING, June 10 (UPI) -- Beijing needs to adopt a sustainable economic model that includes resource efficiency as one of its pillars, the U.N. Industrial Development Organization said.

China is the second-largest consumer of oil in the world. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said that, while slowing, Chinese economic expansion should lead to more demand than its peer economies.

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Ni Zhengdong, founder of Beijing-based venture fund Zero2IPO Group, told China's official Xinhua News Agency last month there was "enormous positive energy" building in the Chinese stock market as the government focuses on qualitative over quantitative growth.

UNIDO Director-General Li Yong said the growth agenda needs a sustainable direction.

"Given the unabated global growth in the consumption of natural resources, the Chinese economy must fully embrace the notions of resource efficiency and a circular economy in order to become sustainable," he said in a statement.

In its latest assessment, the International Monetary Fund said China's economy should continue to outpace the rest of the world, though its trajectory is slowing. Labor markets are resilient and inflation is in check. Nevertheless, the bank said, China's economic growth has relied on an unsustainable mix of credit and investment.

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UNIDO said the Chinese government should back efficiency and recycling industries. Modernization of the industrial sector, coupled with pollution reduction schemes, is necessary for sustainable growth.

"It is important to realize, however, that this does not necessarily result in a loss for industry: environmental issues and global trade are becoming increasingly intertwined and China therefore only stands to gain by strengthening its environmental policies and standards," the director-general said.

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