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Asian Development Bank

100 Climate Actions from Cities in Asia and the Pacific


The PRC’s most northerly province has long been a furnace for the country’s coal-powered economy. Now in transition, the cities are searching for more sustainable alternatives.

As the PRC begins to transition towards more sustainable fuels, a just transition must unfold in northern states with coal-powered economies to avoid unemployment and economic stagnation. The $1 billion, 5-year program has two main focuses: financial stimuli for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and investment in environmental restoration for coal-related impacts.

The first component focuses on boosting local businesses with business development services for SMEs in the four cities. The support services will help improve business planning, research and development, and financial management, meaning local businesses can offer jobs for those no longer working in coal.



The environmental restoration component will target coal mines, such as the open-pit mine in Hegang, which will be remediated through a series of soil treatments to make it suitable for vegetation and the construction of green spaces. In Qitaihe and Shuangyashan, waste-rock dumpsites will be remediated and reused as open spaces.

The project is funded by $310 million in loans from ADB and $220 million from the European Investment Bank.

The cities of Hegang, Jixi, Qitaihe, and Shuangyashan traditionally have economies based on coal power (photo by ADB).

The Challenge

Heilongjiang Province is rich in carbon-intensive resources, and burning them for energy has been an economic driver for people and cities living there.


Economic The project will directly create an estimated 7,819 jobs, and further long-term employment opportunities in the four cities are anticipated.

Environment Diversification and remediation projects will reduce pollution in the area and provide residents with a more secure water supply.