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Special Issue "China and World Sustainability: The Present Problem and Solution for the Future"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Weidong Huang

College of Earth and Space Science University of Science and Technology of China Hefei, Anhui Province 230026, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: solar energy optics and technology; Environmental engineering; Simulation of environmental science and engineering

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue focuses on the evaluation, analysis and prediction of Chinese and World Sustainability; the recycling of renewable resources and the replacement of non-renewable fossil resources with renewable energy for the future; the science, technology and economic theory and method for developing a sustainable society and natural environment for both China and the World; the social change and thought transition, new production methods and new consumption styles for a sustainable China and World

Papers selected for this special issue were subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments and applications.

Dr. Weidong Huang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • environmental sustainability
  • substance sustainability
  • economical sustainability
  • ecological sustainability
  • social sustainability
  • renewable energy
  • governance and sustainability
  • sustainability assessment and policies
  • sustainable production
  • sustainable consumption style

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Reforming China’s Pension Scheme for Urban Workers: Liquidity Gap and Policies’ Effects Forecasting
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10876-10894; doi:10.3390/su70810876
Received: 4 May 2015 / Revised: 30 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1005 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study forecasts the liquidity gap in China’s pension scheme for urban workers in the context of an ageing population and the possible effects of recent governmental policies by constructing a basic pension model, including “old people”, “middle people” and “new people” and
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This study forecasts the liquidity gap in China’s pension scheme for urban workers in the context of an ageing population and the possible effects of recent governmental policies by constructing a basic pension model, including “old people”, “middle people” and “new people” and a simulation method. We find, firstly, that China’s liquidity gap of pension will reach its peak of approximately 13.11 trillion yuan in 2038. Subsequently, this gap will gradually decrease with growth in the mortality rate. Secondly, reasonable intervals for the replacement and contribution rates should be set at [0.417, 0.604] and [0.189, 0.262], respectively, to sustain China’s pension system. Thirdly, compared to increasing fiscal subsidies, an income doubling plan, raising the contribution rate, lowering the replacement rate and delaying the retirement age can significantly reduce the liquidity gap, although the policy costs are relatively high. A policy permitting families to have two children will increase the rate of reduction of the liquidity gap, but it cannot effectively narrow the gap at the peak moment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Carbon Footprints and Embodied Carbon Flows Analysis for China’s Eight Regions: A New Perspective for Mitigation Solutions
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10098-10114; doi:10.3390/su70810098
Received: 30 April 2015 / Revised: 17 July 2015 / Accepted: 22 July 2015 / Published: 28 July 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Carbon footprints have been widely employed as an indicator for total carbon dioxide released by human activities. In this paper, we implemented a multi-regional input-output framework to evaluate the carbon footprints and embodied carbon flows for the eight regions of China from consumption-based
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Carbon footprints have been widely employed as an indicator for total carbon dioxide released by human activities. In this paper, we implemented a multi-regional input-output framework to evaluate the carbon footprints and embodied carbon flows for the eight regions of China from consumption-based perspective. It is found that the construction, electricity/stream supply, and machine manufacturing rank as the top sectors with the largest total carbon emissions. The construction sector alone accounts for 20%–50% of the national emissions. Besides the sectoral carbon footprints, regional footprints and their differences in carbon emissions were also observed. The middle region had the largest total carbon footprints, 1188 million ton, while the capital region ranked the first for its per capita carbon footprint, 7.77 ton/person. In regard to the embodied carbon flows within China, the study detected that the embodied carbon flows take up about 41% of the total carbon footprints of the nation. The northwest region and the eastern coast region are found to be the largest net embodied carbon exporter and importer, respectively. Further investigation revealed significant differences between production-based and consumption-based carbon emissions, both at sectoral and total amounts. Results of this paper can provide specific information to policies on sectoral and regional carbon emission reduction. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Coal Switching and Improvements in Electricity Production Efficiency and Consumption on CO2 Mitigation Goals in China
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 9540-9559; doi:10.3390/su7079540
Received: 28 April 2015 / Revised: 10 July 2015 / Accepted: 13 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (745 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although the average CO2 emission for a person in China is only about 1/4 that of a person in the US, the government of China still made a commitment to ensure that CO2 emissions will reach their peak in 2030 because
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Although the average CO2 emission for a person in China is only about 1/4 that of a person in the US, the government of China still made a commitment to ensure that CO2 emissions will reach their peak in 2030 because of the ever-increasing pressure of global warming. In this work, we examined the effects of coal switching, efficiency improvements in thermal power generation and the electricity consumption of economic activities on realizing this goal. An improved STIRPAT model was developed to create the scenarios. In order to make the estimated elasticities more consistent with different variables selected to construct the formulation, a double-layer STIRPAT model was constructed, and by integrating the two equations obtained by regressing the series in each layer, we finally got the equation to describe the long-run relationship among CO2 emissions (Ic), the share of coal in overall energy consumption (FMC), coal intensity of thermal power generation (CIp) and electricity intensity of GDP (EIelec). The long term elasticities represented by the equation show that the growth of CO2 emissions in China is quite sensitive to FMC, CIp and EIelec. After that, five scenarios were developed in order to examine the effects of China’s possible different CO2 emission reduction policies, focusing on improving FMC, CIp and EIelec respectively. Through a rigorous analysis, we found that in order to realize the committed CO2 emissions mitigating goal, China should obviously accelerate the pace in switching from coal to low carbon fuels, coupled with a consistent improvement in electricity efficiency of economic activities and a slightly slower improvement in the coal efficiency of thermal power generation. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Review of China’s Rural Water Management
Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 5773-5792; doi:10.3390/su7055773
Received: 16 February 2015 / Revised: 19 April 2015 / Accepted: 27 April 2015 / Published: 8 May 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (3591 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With less than 6% of total global water resources but one fifth of the global population, China is facing serious challenges for its water resources management, particularly in rural areas due to the long-standing urban-rural dualistic structure and the economic-centralized developmental policies. This
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With less than 6% of total global water resources but one fifth of the global population, China is facing serious challenges for its water resources management, particularly in rural areas due to the long-standing urban-rural dualistic structure and the economic-centralized developmental policies. This paper addresses the key water crises in rural China including potable water supply, wastewater treatment and disposal, water for agricultural purposes, and environmental concerns, and then analyzes the administrative system on water resources from the perspective of characteristics of the current administrative system and regulations; finally, synthetic approaches to solve water problems in rural China are proposed with regard to institutional reform, regulation revision, economic instruments, technology innovation and capacity-building. These recommendations provide valuable insights to water managers in rural China so that they can identify the most appropriate pathways for optimizing their water resources, reducing the total wastewater discharge and improving their water-related ecosystem. Full article
Open AccessArticle Using Urban-Carrying Capacity as a Benchmark for Sustainable Urban Development: An Empirical Study of Beijing
Sustainability 2015, 7(3), 3244-3268; doi:10.3390/su7033244
Received: 15 November 2014 / Revised: 24 February 2015 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 17 March 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2006 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable urban development has been receiving growing concerns from both city managers and urban residents across the world. As a yardstick of sustainability, urban carrying capacity (UCC) is an important conceptual underpinning that guides local governments in promoting sustainable urban development. However, existing
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Sustainable urban development has been receiving growing concerns from both city managers and urban residents across the world. As a yardstick of sustainability, urban carrying capacity (UCC) is an important conceptual underpinning that guides local governments in promoting sustainable urban development. However, existing studies still lack consensus not only on the theoretical aspects, but also on the methodological issues for UCC monitoring and evaluation. A knowledge gap exists, which this paper fills. This study aims to develop a practical UCC assessment framework to guide urban development towards achieving sustainability. The quantitative-based assessment framework provides a set of measurable indicators and benchmarks for city managers to conduct routine monitoring on progress toward urban sustainability, and helps identify deficient areas, which urgently need resource allocation to improve UCC. Focusing on a case study of Beijing, this study demonstrates that the framework is useful in promoting urban sustainability. This framework provides rich implications for other city prototypes in China as the nation marches into the next phase of development. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis and Projection of the Relationship between Industrial Structure and Land Use Structure in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9343-9370; doi:10.3390/su6129343
Received: 3 September 2014 / Revised: 14 November 2014 / Accepted: 17 November 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3276 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on the computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling method, this research analyzes the relationship between industrial structure and land use structure in China. The results show that our model is feasible, and the simulation results are of a certain stability. Under the scenario
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Based on the computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling method, this research analyzes the relationship between industrial structure and land use structure in China. The results show that our model is feasible, and the simulation results are of a certain stability. Under the scenario analysis and projection of the relationship between the industrial structure and land use structure of the thirty-one provinces in China from 2010 to 2020, the proportions of secondary and tertiary industry in each province have been increasing; correspondingly, the proportion of agriculture has been decreasing. This means that the industrial structure of China is changing. As for land use, in general, the trend is similar to the industrial structure changes. The transformation of the structure of industrial development and land use has driven economic structure changes in China. The economic structure has an inclination to transform from agriculture to both secondary and tertiary industry. Along with industrial transformation, the cultivated land in China shows a trend of continuous decline. Empirical analysis results indicate that a decrease of cultivated land is acceptable under the scenario of economic growth in the next ten years. This shows a possibility that the economic efficiency of land use for cultivation and business services will decline, and more attention ought to be paid to increasing the economic efficiency of land use. Full article
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