China’s NDRC will provide green subsidies to projects that address significant environmental problems.

By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has announced plans to provide subsidies of up to 60% for “green” investment projects in the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) in China’s latest attempt to combat pollution while stimulating growth.

Yangtze River Economic Belt Development Plan 2016

The Chinese government announced the launch of the YREB in 2016. President Xi Jinping stated that the YREB should focus primarily on environmental protection rather than economic growth, due to rapid deterioration in the Yangtze River and the Yangtze Delta. Previously, steel mills and petrochemical factories lined the riverbanks to access cheap water transport, and in 2016, more than 45% of China’s sewerage was discharged into the Yangtze River.

The YREB Development Plan, published in March 2016 following approval by the Central Committee Political Bureau, outlined a “one axis, two wings, three poles and multiple points” pattern of improvement, focusing on ecological and green development.