In this guest post, we reconnect with Rosie Pidcock for an analysis of The China Greentech Report 2013. (You may want to read Part 1 if you missed it.)
The China Greentech Initiative’s annual report for 2013 concludes that now, more than ever, China is at a crossroads in its greentech development. Despite ever-increasing investment (USD$ 67 billion in 2012) and a wealth of technologies ready for deployment, China still faces severe air, water, and soil pollution and is starting to experience social repercussions from these issues. Examples include:
- Estimates from Peking University reveal 8,500+ premature deaths linked to PM2.5 pollution in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xian in 2012. PM2.5 particles stem from a variety of sources, including the burning fossil fuel.
- The Ministry of Land and Resources recently deemed 70% of groundwater in Northern China “unfit for human use.” Polluted water has begun to impact crop yield, leading to food security issues.
To combat such issues, China must de-emphasize supply- and investment-focused targets and adopt a more integrated approach to achieve real environmental results. Governing this transition to a new approach is by no means easy – China’s leaders are carefully balancing close scrutiny of slowing economic growth with the public dialogue on the country’s severe environmental degradation.
The CGTI 2013 report highlights “Visions and Roadmaps” for Greentech ecosystems:
- Built Environment: Challenges and opportunities to improving quality and reducing the environmental impact of buildings through integrated, replicable and measurable solutions
- Electric Vehicles: Driving growth of China’s electric vehicles market through stimulating consumer demand and improving technology performance
- Low Carbon Eco-Cities: Integrating planning, buildings and infrastructure in the early stages of city development
- Next-Generation Energy Value Chains: Promoting the growth of distributed gas and solar energy while continuing to adapt grid capabilities and flexibility
- Sustainability: Developing strategies that originate from an organization’s senior leadership, which understands government priorities, manages a scarce resources supply chain, and engages with external stakeholders to communicate and verify sustainability efforts
For China, environmental degradation and concern regarding its repercussions are at an all-time high. China’s new leadership faces an unprecedented challenge but unique opportunity to transform the way the country grows, urbanizes, enriches the lives of its citizens, and takes its place in the world as an environmental champion.
The China Greentech Report 2013: China at a Crossroads is available for download in English and Chinese.
Rosie Pidcock currently resides in Beijing where she works in Partner Services for The China Greentech Initiative – a collaborative platform creating and connecting strategic greentech market insights to a network of 100+ companies and governments. Rosie previously managed the Built Environment program and currently leads the Cleaner Transportation research initiatives for CGTI’s commercial and government partners. She also managed the launch of The China Greentech Report 2013, CGTI’s signature piece of thought leadership published annually in collaboration with its partners.