It remains the world's leading investor in low-carbon, clean-energy technology, having invested $54.4 billion last year -- up 40 per cent on the previous year.
But while it is conscious of the political desirability of cutting carbon emissions, China's main imperative remains rapid economic development and the maintenance of social stability. It is also very conscious of the need for economic security, which will involve building indigenous industries and reducing reliance on foreign, and often politically unstable, sources of energy imports.
Although some governments like to equate carbon emissions with pollution, the Chinese are under no such illusions. Clean air and clean water are preconditions for good health and a longer life -- the average Chinese citizen does not lie awake at night worrying about what economic advantages they can forego to reduce carbon levels, but they certainly do worry about the ubiquitous smog and industrial haze blanketing places like Shenzhen and the Pearl River Delta. Policymakers, and the local media, share these concerns and are very much alive to the need to tackle the source of real toxins that poison their citizens. Full Article >>>