Backgrounder: The Tianjin Eco-District
An ambitious project costing approximately CAD$2.5 billion, the Tianjin eco-project will be a 1.8 km2 urban development that will serve as both a demonstration of cooperation between two countries and a research lab to help China realize its goal to improve the energy efficiency of its cities.
The Tianjin eco-project is the result of a 2014 memorandum of understanding signed by Natural Resources Canada and China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. Canada Wood, a non-profit organization partially funded by Natural Resources Canada, will oversee the application of Canadian technology and know-how during the construction of the project, which has already completed its first phase.
The project is a response to a China State Council requirement issued in 2013 specifying that 50 percent of new buildings in China must meet green housing standards by 2020. For the Government of Canada, the project provides an avenue to help diversify markets for Canadian technology and innovation, specifically its wood and wood-based products.
Canada offers a wide range of energy-efficient, clean technology products and services, built on years of successful innovation. Canadian clean technology companies can provide cost-competitive solutions to achieve low-carbon buildings and sustainable communities in China.
The Tianjin eco-district boasts 100 townhomes built to the Super E® standards and is the first large-scale deployment of its kind. Developed by Natural Resources Canada, the Super E energy efficiency standard has been successfully used in homes in Canada, Europe and Asia.
Additionally, the project has offered Canadian companies a valuable platform to showcase their technology and best practices. Natural Resources Canada has been connecting Canadian sustainable urban design, energy-efficient technologies and building products companies with BSD TEDA, the developer of the eco-district project in Tianjin.
Canadian Government Efforts to Diversify Softwood Lumber Markets
Natural Resources Canada’s Expanding Market Opportunities program provided $6 million (2017-18) in funding to eight Canadian forest product associations to promote Canadian wood products in overseas markets and $18 million to FPInnovations for research and development.
Budget 2017 also provides $40 million over four years to increase the use of wood as a greener substitute material in infrastructure, such as tall wood buildings, helping to create new markets for sustainable Canadian products.
On June 1, the Government of Canada announced $867 million in measures to support forest industry workers and communities affected by U.S. measures targeting softwood lumber. This announcement demonstrates the Government’s commitment to take quick action and its overarching strategy to target new markets around the globe in a concerted effort to enhance trade and market diversification for Canadian wood and wood products as part of the clean growth economy.
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