Macau is not an energy- friendly city by Chinese standards, suggests a recently released report showing the SAR was bested by more than 200 mainland cities in terms of energy intensity.
The findings come from the 2018 China (Macau and the Greater Bay Area) Urban Competitiveness Report, released yesterday by the Institute for Sustainable Development (TISD) of the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST).
Among 294 cities in China – including the two special administrative regions – Macau ranks 250th in terms of ecological urban competitiveness.
Explaining the reasons behind the low ranking, Liu Chengkun, director of the TISD, revealed that the low ranking in respect of ecological urban competitiveness is due to the high energy consumption and the limited green land per capita.
“Sustainable competitiveness includes an evaluation of environmentally-friendly cities. Macau seems to be rather behind,” remarked Liu.
The sub-index of the evaluation of environmentally-friendly cities includes energy intensity, where Macau ranks approximately 200th among all cities.
“Energy Intensity stands for energy per unit of GDP. Even though Macau is dominated by the gaming industry, Macau is not an energy-saving and environmentally-friendly city in terms of energy consumption,” Liu explained.
“Another factor is the green area per capita; Macau is certainly very low compared to other cities,” observed Liu.
The researcher elaborated by saying that Macau is nearly a 100 percent urbanized city, whereas other mainland cities are still surrounded by suburbs containing large areas of green land.
Another contributing reason factor in Macau’s low rank in ecological urban competitiveness is the fact that Macau does not have state-level nature reserves. However, Liu pointed out that since the survey adopted mainland criteria, the lack of state-level nature reserves in Macau is a factor which wrongly contributes to the city’s ranking as it has other nature reserves which could be considered state- level nature reserves.
Among 294 cities in China, the report ranked Macau 14th and 3rd in terms of urban comprehensive competitiveness and comprehensive efficiency competitiveness, respectively. Macau ranked 12th and 7th among the 294 cities in terms of conditions for business and living respectively.
Despite being ranked mostly in the top ten in the majority of indexes, Macau was shown to be the least competitive in terms of social environment, ranking 285th.
Inequality between local and non-local residents is one of the factors explaining Macau’s low rank in terms of social environment competitiveness.
The report ranked Shenzhen 1st in terms of urban comprehensive competitiveness. Guangzhou, Dongguan and Foshan also placed ahead of Macau in that respect.
Talking about the Greater Bay Area (GBA), Liu noted that compared to the world’s biggest bay areas, the GBA is unique in terms of economic and political systems.
However, instead of seeing the differences in political systems between Macau, Hong Kong and the mainland as a disadvantage, Liu suggested that systematic differences may actually bring advantages to the GBA.