GUEST POST: China at an Environmental Crossroads: Trends and Strategies – Part 1

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In this guest post by Rosie Pidcock, a current resident of Beijing, we learn her perspective on the environmental challenges China is facing 

Beijing has been in the hot seat this year for record-breaking pollution levels. Having lived in the city for the past year and a half, I have had a front row seat to the remarkable speed of China’s development, as well as the inevitable environmental impact.

Food security scares, the necessity of donning a Darth Vader-esque mask just to step outside and cycle to work, reports that particular brands of bottled water are unsafe for consumption … the list goes on. My phone calls home to family and friends often begin with an inquiry about my health and safety, and questions on what I am sacrificing to develop as a young person in this complex but fascinating nation.

China is bumping up against this same question of sacrifice on a much larger scale; its growing prosperity has come at a great environmental cost. However, there is a strong framework in place to take on the challenge – along with a strong political will and the watchful eye of an increasingly concerned Chinese citizenry. In closing at this year’s National People’s Congress, Premier Li Keqiang stated, “It is no good to be poor in a beautiful environment, nor any good to be well-off and live with environmental degradation.”

Sustainability strategy in action

The China Greentech Initiative (CGTI) encourages new thinking on solving China’s environmental problems. CGTI and its partners believe in the collaborative pursuit of commercial opportunities that arise from China’s environmental challenge in order to support the country in reaching its environmental goals. The only Chinese-international platform driven by strategic research and a network of 1,000+ experts, CGTI has been defining and evolving China’s greentech markets since 2008.

Greentech refers to technologies, products and services that deliver benefits to users of equal or greater value than those of conventional alternatives, while limiting the impact on the natural environment and maximizing the efficient use of energy, water and other resources. For China, CGTI applies the term to ecosystem areas such as energy value chains, electric vehicles and smart cities.

Each year, CGTI researches the state of China’s environment and the greentech market opportunity and publishes the findings. In my next post, I will share an analysis of the 2013 Report.


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.

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