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Though the manufacturing sector has been a key driver of growth across Asia, it is also the source of critical environmental problems, including the surge of water resource use and water pollution. Further, estimates suggest that the industrial sector of the region will see the largest increase (of 65 per cent) in water use by 2030 compared to any other sector in the economy.1 Combining with projected population growth this can exacerbate water-access problems in Asia.2 Within this context and given the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) prominent position as a global industrial hub, the PRC offers a valuable case study in managing and enforcing environmental controls in the face of rapid industrialisation. This is especially relevant for countries in the region seeking to undergo similar structural change in terms of industrial development but with lower impact on the environment. This policy brief outlines the context of the PRC, the PRC’s key policies, case studies from the city of Shaoxing and Shandong Province (the PRC’s hub for the textile industry and paper and pulp industry respectively), and some key policy recommendations. This policy brief is a key input for work carried out by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in collaboration with Tsinghua University,3 to strengthen the capacity of regional governments to implement policy for improving water and resource use in key industrial sectors.

Contact
Environment and Development Division +66 2 288 1234 [email protected]