This report by the United Nations Development Programme presents key findings of a report on human development and climate change factors in China. It states, "The Chinese economy is currently in a stage of rapid industrialization and urbanization, and living standards have been greatly improved. Yet more than 270 million people are without access to an adequate supply of safe drinking water and other public infrastructure. Urbanization and industrialization may lead to a prolonged increase in energy use and corresponding GHG emissions. The cycle of energy consumption is amplified by the fact that a large portion of China’s energy is spent on the manufacture and international export of energy-intensive products.
However, increasingly stringent carbon controls would pose challenges to the Chinese
competitiveness. Technological limitations and higher costs of less carbon-intensive
technologies and fuel which may not be economically feasible will continue, at least
in the short term. China is still undertaking considerable investments in human development such as the response to growing employment demands of the world’s largest population or the need of a fast alignment to international standards in its education and health systems.
Despite these challenges, opportunities are also at hand in pursuing a low carbon economy."