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On February 4, 2016 China’s National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development issued the policy circular, Urban Action Plan to Tackle Climate Change. According To FII China’s General Manager Lisa Dou, “The policy circular signals the Central government’s commitment to climate change mitigation which opens the door for us to position Canadian wood as a climate-friendly building solution for China.” According to the China Housing Industrialization Strategic Alliance, traditional concrete buildings contribute to over 50% of China’s carbon emissions. 

The circular recommends closer international cooperation in order for China to learn how other countries have dealt with climate change issues and to promote technical exchange. FII China and Canada Wood China will look to leverage these developments to promote wood building systems as one solution that can help China address the challenges around sustainable urban development.

The Action Plan aims to facilitate China’s National Climate Change Adaption Strategy (issued in 2013) by enhancing the ability of cities to adapt to climate change and extreme climate events.

The Action Plan sets specific targets for 2020, including:

  • building 30 climate-friendly demonstration cities, and
  • increasing the number of project certified as green buildings to 50%

Key elements of the Action Plan related to the construction and wood industries include old house renovations and prefabricated construction. The Action Plan subsequently sets out to recommend the use of:

  • prefabricated steel, concrete and hybrid structures,
  • steel and wood structure in areas of high seismic activity,
  • steel structures in large public facilities and large-scale industry plants,
  • wood structures in low rise public facilities, including government funded schools, kindergartens, and senior homes, and
  • wood in landscaping.

Forestry Innovation Investment is the Province of B.C.’s market development agency for forest products. With offices in Vancouver, Beijing, Shanghai and Mumbai, FII actively promotes the environmental merits of building with wood from sustainably managed forests. FII China and Canada Wood lead market development efforts in China with support from Natural Resources Canada.

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Saturday, February 6, 2016