China is currently facing the predicament that greenhouse gas emissions are increasing with the growth of the economy. In order to enable transition from the old development mode into a new low-carbon approach, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) started a low-carbon pilot program in 2010. Hangzhou has been selected as one of the pilot cities to implement a “low-carbon city pilot project”.
The project was implemented in two stages.The first stage lasted from 2010 to 2015, the second one started in 2015 and will last to 2020. Specific carbon emission reduction targets have been set during the initial planing period aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 20% per GDP unit until 2015 and 50% until 2020. As the city with the highest GDP among the first batch of Chinese cities chosen as low carbon project cities, Hangzhou has set a more ambitious carbon reduction target than the national one. Based on this target, Hangzhou municipal government drafted a more detailed plan, got sufficient local government policy support and covered more social sectors.The low-carbon development transition in Hangzhou was framed as “dominanted by low-carbon industries, based on low-carbon city life and building on low-carbon society”. The low-carbon project includes not only “Low-carbon Development” and “Solution for Climate Change” aspects but also “Ecological Civilization Construction”, “Circular Economy Development”, “Energy Conservation Demonstration”, etc., which cover industry, construction, transportation, ecosystems and waste management sectors.