The country's top housing authorities will increase their promotion of green, low-carbon buildings in order to help realize China's ambitious climate targets, officials said.
They made the remarks at a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office on Oct 25, following the publication of a guideline on urban and rural green development.
Unveiled on Oct 21 by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, China's Cabinet, the document vowed to make urban and rural development green in a comprehensive manner by 2035.
By then, the country will have seen significant improvement in the construction sector's ability to control carbon emissions. Urban and rural development will be essentially "modernized", according to the document.
To realize the targets, the country aims to establish the necessary institutional mechanisms and policy systems for green urban and rural development by 2025, it said. Green production and lifestyles will be widely adopted by then.
Zhang Xiaohong, vice-minister of housing and urban-rural development, said the building sector is a major contributor to carbon emissions, and its contribution is expected to increase with China's urbanization process and the improvement of people's livelihoods.
He said the guideline has included a series of measures to address outstanding problems related to construction, consumption and emissions in the sector.
To reform urban and rural development, Zhang said the guideline includes an action plan to integrate the country's ambitious climate goals－ensuring carbon dioxide emissions peak before 2030 and realizing carbon neutrality before 2060－into the building sector.
The guideline said stepped-up measures will be taken to make old buildings more low-carbon and green as the country makes consistent efforts to renovate aging urban residential communities.
Preferential policies will be introduced to propel scale development of high-quality green buildings, the document continued. Efforts will be made to develop buildings with low and near-zero energy consumption, as well as those with zero carbon emissions.
To enhance the country's ability to monitor energy consumption in buildings, the country will also establish an information sharing mechanism regarding the use of water, electricity, natural gas and heating, it said.
It said the government will encourage the incorporation of smart photovoltaic power generation into green building development as it endeavors to boost renewable energy.
Tian Guomin, a senior official with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said that although China started constructing green buildings only early this century－about three decades later than developed nations－the country has experienced robust development in the sector.
With a series of regulations and standards regarding building design, construction and renovation, China has established a comparatively complete institutional system for green buildings, Tian said.
By the end of last year, China had built green buildings with a total floor area of almost 6.65 billion square meters, he said.
The ministry will further raise the standard for energy-efficient buildings as it strives to make old buildings more low-carbon and green via renovations, he said. It will also enhance the management of operations in buildings to make them more energy efficient.