The 13th Five-Year Plan of China showed that the country is going to shape economic growth for ecological ends, Roy Morrison, a leading U.S. scholar on development of an ecological civilization, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
“The shape of the 13th Five-Year Plan is a reflection of China’s enormous economic growth since the late 1970s, the growing maturity of the Chinese economy, and the essential need to condition future economic growth by ecological ends,” Morrison said.
The 13th Five-Year Plan will be China’s development blueprint for the next five years from 2016 to 2020. Early November, the Communist Party of China (CPC) issued proposals for the plan. According to the proposals, “innovation, coordination, the environment, opening up and sharing” will fulfill China’s economic goals for the coming years.
To improve China’s environment, China will seek growth through economic transformation, optimizing industrial structure to reach the target of “maintaining medium-high growth.”
“The 13th Five-Year Plan will be the first of the administration of President Xi Jinping, and as such reflects themes that have been consistently advanced. First, continued moderate economic growth with the goal of doubling per capita GDP by 2020 from 2000 levels. Second, the embrace of green goals, standards, and measures to condition this growth. Third, the embrace of innovation, coordination and sharing,” Morrison added.
He said that “the 13th Five Year Plan suggests that China intends to shape economic growth for ecological ends.”
In his famous book Ecological Democracy which was published in 1995, Morrison outlined the concept of “ecological civilization” and his definition was widely accepted and used ever since.
In the book which he said “is about fundamental change of the movement from an industrial to an ecological civilization, which will be as significant as the transformation from an agricultural to an industrial civilization,” he predicted that in the ecological civilization future, “our concern is not to control nature and each other, but to live in harmony with nature and each other.”
In another book he wrote in 2004 “Eco Civilization 2140: A Twenty-Second-Century History and Survivor’s Journal,” he said that in 2070 to 2090, China will lead the world in sustainable development.
“China is at the point where it is moving from follower to leader on the global stage. There are many ecological challenges and hard choices facing China and the world that must be met head on,” he said. “If China takes the lead, the world is likely to follow.”
“China’s leadership role in renewable energy, limits on coal, adoption of cap and trade programs indicates that China is ready to take a leading role at the Paris United Nations Climate Meeting in December,” he added.