China, Jiangsu Province

Continuing Country:
Jiangsu Province, China

China has positioned itself as a forerunner of sustainability, guided by its national development vision - “Ecological Civilisation”.


In 2015, China joined PAGE at the provincial level. Located on the eastern coast, Jiangsu province is home to approximately 80 million people and is the second richest province in the country. Characterised by a dense network of rivers, lakes and waterways, it has a strong resource base but is faced by several challenges, including high population, environmental degradation, and a reliance on heavy industry.

Jiangsu has demonstrated commitment to green economy by:

  • Fostering green and high-tech industries;
  • Shifting towards energy saving and resource efficient production and consumption models;
  • Redefining the eco-redlines of conservation zones; and
  • Enhancing the policy monitoring, coordination and evaluation of green development progress;
  • The 13th Five-Year Development Plan (2016-2020) of Jiangsu formally established these as top priorities.

Jiangsu was the first province to release a provincial plan on Ecological Civilisation Construction (2013-2022). This foresees the greening of industrial parks as a means for achieving clean and circular production, setting the target for all provincial-level industrial parks to meet the national Eco-park standard by 2022.

PAGE has been supporting Jiangsu with capacity building, macro-level green economy policy monitoring and sectoral policy advisory services in green industrial development, green jobs and green trade, with phase out planned in 2020. This has contributed to several SDGs, including SDGs 4, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 17.

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PAGE milestones


Progress in 2019: A snapshot

Transforming industrial parks

In partnership with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MoHRSS) and the Policy Research Centre for Environment and Economy (PRCEE), a National Roundtable on 'Achieving Green Jobs for an Inclusive Green Economy, Social Dialogue Supporting Quality Green Industrial Development in China' was held on 16 April 2019. This established a roadmap to strengthen capacities to support green jobs for quality green industrial development.

From 18-19 April 2019, an International Seminar on Green Industrial Parks was held to exemplify good practices from Jiangsu province. The event featured the launch of two PAGE reports – “Green Transformation of Industrial Parks in China’s Jiangsu Province: A Synthesis Report” and “Measuring the Green Industry Progress of 18 Provinces in China” and facilitated learning between the Governments of China, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Boosting green development in various sectors

A workshop on Green Development took place from 2-6 December 2019 to provide a platform for cross-sectoral dialogue, learning and exchange. Organised by the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and Nanjing University, this gathered representatives from central and local government, UN agencies, research institutes, trade unions and enterprises to Suzhou – a major economic centre and focal point of trade and commerce.

Three sessions were held:

  1. A workshop on EIP to better exemplify good practices and provide training to policy professionals and industrial park managers;
  2. A learning workshop on Green Jobs including, a field trip to Suzhou Industrial Park and a “social dialogue” on gender equality, green jobs and the application of Just Transition guidelines; and
  3. An expert consultation on the GEP measurement framework of Jiangsu and Fujian Province.

Expanding green economic transformation in China

Dongying, a city in Shandong province, has been involved in PAGE related activities since 2016 as a 'volunteer city' and expressed an interest, during the April workshop in Beijing, in continuing work by utilising its own resources with technical support. This presents a clear example of scaling up and sustainability of the partnership.

PAGE impact: 2015-2019 and beyond

Outcome 1: National Policymaking

PAGE’s engagement began with a stocktaking on Jiangsu’s green economy, summarising good practices and potential challenges for policy implementation. Areas for support aligned with the provincial government’s implementation of the 13th Five-Year plan were identified as a result.

Measuring Jiangsu’s progress towards IGE transition - A particular focus has been measuring green economy performance, with the following activities:

Measuring Jiangsu’s progress

PAGE has supported Nanjing University by providing evidence-based IGE policy analysis through the development of a GEP measurement framework for Jiangsu. This complements the existing framework used by the provincial government with strengthened social and gender dimensions, to help identify policy gaps and opportunities for future resource allocations. This was shared with South Africa to inform development of their national GEP indicators.

Measuring progress beyond Jiangsu

Following consultation of initial results with the provincial Government in 2018, the framework has been broadened to measure the performance of 13 prefecture-level cities in Jiangsu. This tool has also been applied in Fujian Province, operated by Fujian Normal University, to monitor the green economy progress on both provincial and city levels. This has fostered a GEP learning network between the two universities and others, including Zhejiang University and Suzhou University of Science and Technology, which participated in the expert consultation workshop in December 2019. A dedicated Jiangsu Green Economy database and an online monitoring tool were presented at the workshop, to be finalised in 2020. Work on the GEP framework supports SDG 8, target 8.4, by promoting resource efficiency in consumption and production, target 8.5, by supporting full, productive employment, and SDG 17, targets 17.18 and 17.19, by increasing the availability of data and progress measurements towards SDGs.

Outcome 2: Sectoral and Thematic Reform

PAGE has continued to support sectoral and thematic reforms, with a focus on green industry, green trade and green jobs as follows:

Supporting the transformation of industrial parks

China has paved the way for developing Green Industrial Parks, completing work on national and international levels to quantify and promote their benefits, as highlighted:

  • Measuring progress towards green industrialisation: The Green Industry Progress (GIPro) Index has been developed, covering economic, environmental and social aspects of green transition of industries in 18 Chinese provinces and is benchmarked with other green industry indexes. The assessment provides a picture of advancement for each province, with specific policy recommendations identified. This facilitated development of a research paper on the “Green Evaluation of Industrial Firms in China” is being used as an input for the China Chapter of GGKP’s Green Industry Platform.
  • Supporting the green transition of industrial parks: A Green Industrial Park Assessment Study was carried out in Jiangsu and a Policy Guideline developed, taking stock of the policy instruments affecting green industrial parks at national and provincial levels. The results were summarised in the publication “Green Transformation of Industrial Parks in China's Jiangsu Province: A Synthesis Report” and launched in April 2019 at the International Seminar on Green Industrial Parks. This synthesis report provides a reference to scale-up work on green industrial parks on domestic and international levels.
  • Measuring transformation against international standards: A pilot study was commissioned in 2018 to assesses the performance of four Jiangsu industrial parks against the UNIDO/World Bank/GIZ International Framework of EIPs. The English report was finalised in February 2019 and discussed at the workshop in Suzhou in December, along with a training on EIP tools. The findings will be used to support development of consolidated industrial park guidelines.
  • Supporting industrial symbiosis and synergies: A study on select parks is being developed to identify the costs and benefits of industrial symbiosis and synergies. A training workshop on EIP policy support and industrial symbiosis tools took place on 2-4 December 2019, targeting provincial government and park management. ITPO Shanghai is planning to implement the opportunities identified by the study in other parks in the Shanghai region and beyond. Support for green industrial parks contributes to SDGs 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13 by implementing programmes on sustainable consumption; increasing the share of renewable energy and high-tech industries; improving energy efficiency; promoting decent work for all; upgrading infrastructure and industries to promote sustainable industrialisation; ensuring a conducive policy environment when supporting technology development, research and innovation; and integrating climate change measures into policies, strategies and planning.
Exploring the role of trade in green economy transition

The PAGE Environment and Trade Hub conducted a study on south-south trade in environmental goods and services and collaborated with the Research Institute for Global Value Chain (RIGVC) for a baseline assessment of sustainable textile trade and value-chains. The studies provided the basis for multi-sectoral workshops and trainings on trade in environmentally-sound technologies and sustainable textile value-chains, and summarised good practices shared at international events. This is aligned to SDG 17 by increasing green trade opportunities.

Supporting sustainability

China will establish an International Forum on Green Development in 2020 to enable exchange of experiences in green economy, growth and development. Hosted by the municipal government of Chengdu and led by the PRCEE, it will engage participants from multiple provinces and nations across different sectors. This demonstrates China’s commitment to sustainable development, knowledge sharing and collaboration, supporting SDG 17.

Outcome 3: Strengthening Capacity

PAGE has supported capacity building in Jiangsu and beyond through the organization of events, partnerships with provincial stakeholders and the development of networks/platforms. In particular, China has made significant efforts to collaborate internationally.

Strengthening individual capability

The following activities have been undertaken to raise awareness of IGE and build capacity:

  • Raising awareness: A provincial Green Economy Academy was held in 2017 to increase knowledge of IGE. It brought together policymakers and environmental bureau officers from seven Jiangsu municipalities to discuss social inclusiveness, green development potential, modelling/indicator tools, and the application of natural capital accounting.
  • Building capacity: A capacity building workshop was held on 2-4 December 2019 for selected Jiangsu industrial park management on the implementation tools and International Framework on EIPs. This brought together policymakers, park administrators, business representatives, scholars and NGOs to share and discuss practical tools, techniques and opportunities in greening industrial parks. These activities contribute to SDG 17, target 17.6, by enhancing South-South Cooperation, and target 17.9, by increasing international support for capacity-building to assist SDG implementation.
Strengthening institutional capacity

The capacity of Nanjing University to provide evidence-based policy analysis and advisory services has been strengthened. The GEP measurement framework has also been utilized by Fujian Normal University to monitor the GEP on provincial and city levels, fostering a learning network amongst universities. A Green Development Workshop on 2-6 December 2019 provided a platform for dialogue and learning amongst government, research institutes, trade unions and enterprises. This work supports SDG 4, target 4.7 by promoting the skills and knowledge needed for sustainable development through education.

Facilitating social dialogue to support green jobs

Led by ILO and MoHRSS, PAGE promotes Green Jobs through Social Dialogue by engaging policymakers and industrial park stakeholders in Social Dialogue Round Tables and exploring strategies to promote green jobs alongside green industrial development. The first roundtable in April 2019 in Beijing shared good practices focused on green employment policies and established a roadmap for supporting green jobs, leading to the formation of a working group with local government experts. The second roundtable on 4-6 December 2019 in Suzhou focused on green jobs, Just Transition and the promotion of gender equality. This supports SDG 17, target 17.6 by supporting partnerships and SDG 8, target 8.5 by promoting decent work for all.