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Zhenjiang is trailblazer among China’s carbon-cutting cities

Zhenjiang, a Chinese city of 3 million, is shifting from factory to service jobs to promote economic expansion while cutting emissions. (yyyaotian/

Zhenjiang, China relies on an unorthodox strategy to reduce fossil-fuel emissions. Ma Tianjie and Wang Yamin report for Chinadialogue that the city is shifting from energy-intensive industries to a service-sector based economy to reduce its carbon footprint.

This transition allows Zhenjiang, with a population of 3 million, to promote economic growth while also lowering emissions, the article says. To monitor progress, the city in eastern China harnesses data to track the emissions of companies, business sectors and neighborhoods.

By contrast, less industrialized cities must meet their emissions targets through improved energy-efficiency standards, tighter environmental controls and lower auto emissions, the article says.

Zhenjiang, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are among nine Chinese cities that pledged in September to reach peak fossil-fuel emissions in 2020. That’s a decade before all of China’s urban areas must meet a national target, Tianjie and Yamin note. China’s National Development and Reform Commission is encouraging dozens more cities to hit their carbon peaks in advance of national goals. 


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