The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing $600 million for a package of green projects that are aimed at creating waste to energy projects, reducing CO2 emissions, expanding eco-friendly transport, and protecting fragile wetland areas in fast-growing second-tier cities in China.

ADB is providing a loan facility of $200 million for the development of biomass power plants that convert agricultural and municipal waste into energy. The project should be able to provide millions of people in Anhui, Jiangsu, Shandong and the southern provinces with reliable green energy, improved health and a cleaner living environment, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 638 000 tons a year.

These four projects support China’s transition to a lower-carbon growth path built on a long-term commitment to green urbanisation, better energy efficiency, and environmental preservation, said Robert Wihtol, director general of ADB’s East Asia Department.

A separate $150 million ADB loan will fund the expansion of district heating systems in northeastern Heilongjiang province, where temperatures can drop as low as -40°C in wintertime. An additional 270 000 households, which have relied mainly on coal stoves for indoor heating, will benefit from the project, and without increasing net emissions.