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China – the new green star?

olympicsChina has come in for a lot of criticism from the outside world of late. Hosting the Beijing Olympics means the spotlight is very much on the country’s poor record on both human rights and pollution.

But – on the pollution side, at least – it’s not a completely fair picture, according to a report by the Climate Group:

“China is already the world’s leading renewable energy producer and is over-taking more developed economies in exploiting valuable economic opportunities, creating green-collar jobs and leading development of critical low carbon technologies”

Whilst the volume of steel in its main Olympic stadium means the title of ‘the Green Olympics’ is, to some extent, painted in greenwash there are undoubtedly some great things happening in China. Hopefully they will last beyond the games. Beijing’s air quality is still very poor (and I imagine that some race-winning times will be quite slow at the Olympics as a result) but China’s transition to a low carbon economy is very much underway.

This is even more impressive as the country deals with a huge proportion of the world’s manufacturing, which simply shifts Europe and the US’ pollution.

The release adds:

The report – China’s Clean Revolution – shows that China’s transition to a low carbon economy is well underway, led by supportive government policies which are not only driving innovation in low carbon technologies but also diverting billions of dollars of investment into energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The report reveals that the low carbon economy is just as attractive to developing nations like China, as it is for richer countries such as the UK, Japan and Germany.

China’s combination of cost advantages, a clear policy framework, a dynamic and entrepreneurial business environment and abundant abatement opportunities, is proving that developing nations have as much, if not more, to gain from investment in low carbon solutions creating green-collar jobs, social benefits and economic growth.

3 Comments

  • citizensmith
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    ps almost forgot.

    The chinese are chasing your mate hard…….
    Origo may well be in Hong Kong soon or Macau

  • citizensmith
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    The wealth of investment money coupled with the drive to achieve is something the British Investment sector should open its eye’s too.
    The technology transfer will not stop when it takes 12 months to get anywhere in the UK, but only 3 months from China.

  • Alice in Beijing
    Posted August 5, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Having lived in Beijing the last year, I can agree with the article – there are lts of positive changes taking place. After all, green technology has a big potential market and might well soon be not only ‘made in China’ but also ‘Designed in China’.

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