China Establishing the World’s Leading Green Agenda

The title comes from an article by Jørgen Steen Nielsen in the Danish Information newspaper (as translated in the Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen). Many interesting points which can be cross-checked by those interested in verifying these points.

China is the leading actor in the renewable energy market, while the U.S. and E.U. have fallen behind as they dither immersed in ideological (governmental initiatives vs. the private sphere) squabbles and political infighting.

Even Thomas Friedman bemoans the fact that while politicians in the U.S. make climate change into a four-letter word, joke, while the Chinese make climate change into another four-letter word, jobs.

The EU ‘s main claim to climate change fame, the CO2 quota system, is wobbling. The quotas are priced far too low because authorities lack the resolve to step in and regulate the CO2 market.

Oddly, despite China’s apparent lack of urgency at climate change conferences/negotiations, they are moving extremely fast in the real world.

China has mobilized to create a new domestic green economy and at the same time take control over the world’s green sector.

In each of the last four years China has doubled its wind power capacity. At the end of 2009 China had the second largest wind power capacity in the world with the largest yearly growth. Currently the country is building two windmills an hour and aims to increase capacity by a factor of ten within ten years according the 2010 China Wind Power Outlook.

Ten years ago China had zero windmill factories. Today the country controls one-half of the world’s windmill market.

The China Solar Valley, a new center for green energy industry, has been established at the northern city of Dezhou (at the expense of thousands of farmers whose land was confiscated at the altar of Chinese renewable energy) The goal is that 100 different companies will produce solar technology products.

Through the use of state subsidies for Chinese companies and by reducing expenses, China has conquered one-half of the world’s sun panel technology at the expense of manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe.

Dragon Power has built 19 biomass power plants. Further, 10 more plants are being built and 13 are being planned for this year. Using state loans, 100 more biomass production plants are planned for the next 5 years.

Currently China has the world’s largest hydropower capacity and is aiming for a doubling of capacity within 2020 through the use of more effective turbines.

A pilot program has been initiated in a number of Chinese cities regarding the use of el-cars. In order to reach a goal of one million el-cars on the roads within 2020 the state is looking to spend between 12 and 15 billion dollars up to 2015.

China has is closing old coal power plants. The new coal power plants are more effective and release a lower amount of CO2 (LSW recommends that those interested research these claims further).

An Australian report (not sure which) shows that China invested in 2009 twice as much in renewable energy than the U.S. and more than the total investments in the green sector by the U.S., Great Britain and Australia together.

Ernst and Young says that China has passed the U.S. as the most attractive country for investing in the green sector.

China is already experiencing the effects of climate changes and pollution in addition to dependence on imported oil, natural gas and coal.

China’s political system allows them to employ longer investment perspectives than the shortsighted profit now investment regimes current in the West. Is it possible that the political system in the U.S. is no longer capable of finding solutions to big problems and challenges?

Chrystia Freeland writes on her Reuters blog:

“A favorite theme of American business and political elites at the moment is that authoritarian regimes—i.e., China—may be better at making hard, long-term economic decisions than are querulous democracies—i.e., the United States. There is plenty of academic research to suggest that, over the long term, this view is wrong. But in the shorter term—this week in fact—America itself offered a case study of this scary theory.”

LSW would humbly like to suggest that the problem in the U.S. is not that it is a querulous democracy but that in both business and politics, the short term profit picture and the welfare of the stock holders has assumed a position of overshadowing power, eliminating the possibility of long term planning and big planning for solutions to big problems. The CEO bonus and the stockholders’ monthly returns are blocking out healthy investments which would benefit society as a whole and the majority of citizens in favor of the richest of the rich.

Perhaps bonuses should be taxed at 80 – 90%, CEOs should be held accountable for company losses, and financial services should be richly taxed. But of course governing myths in the U.S. prevent any sort of thoughts of taxation from entering the national consciousness, such as it may be. Nor can any thoughts of taking money out of politics be permitted by the governing economic elite. Perish the thought. Equality? Pooh pooh. Rational economic thought? Pooh pooh. Spiral on down the drain? You answer.

In addition see this post on The strategic place of rare earth elements

2 comments to China Establishing the World’s Leading Green Agenda

  • Hi there 🙂 Is it OK that I go sort of off the subject? I’m trying to view the website on my new iPhone but it won’t display properly (a few of the buttons are pretty much covered), any suggestions? Should I try and find an upgrade for my system or something? Thanks in advance! Lorinda x 🙂

    • admin

      No idea I am afraid. I have had several questions like this but my knowledge does not reach iPhones and the like. When I first got an iPod touch I wanted to listen to baseball and began to look at this ‘unlock’ solution but luckily MLB came out with an app. So I would suppose that LSW should develop an app but that will not be immediately forthcoming. Sorry.

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