WWF report -Riding the green dragon?
China – a key nation for ensuring global sustainable development
With its vast population, rapidly growing economy, huge research and infrastructure development investments, massive exports and huge spending on military, China is an emerging superpower. However, the Chinese model of economic development is faced with many challenges, one of the largest being environmental degradation of a severity and scale that threatens to undermine the development achievements of the Chinese people. To ensure energy security and attain high, sustainable living standards for its people, China needs to develop and implement more resource and energy effective production practices than OECD countries currently apply.
The speed and scale of economic development, with low production costs combined with enormous investment flows in new infrastructure and in research and development provides an unprecedented opportunity for mass-market production and implementation of low-carbon technologies and other sustainable solutions.
The Chinese government goals of an effective, circular and innovative economy translates into policy goals which already have had significant effect, such as the target to increase energy efficiency by 20 per cent in the period 2005–2010, cut discharge of main pollutants by 10 per cent, double the percentage of renewable energy it uses from 8 to 15 per cent by 2015, and increase wind power generation fivefold from 2007 levels to 30GW by 2020.China is already showing signs of becoming a world leader in renewable energy, with the largest hydro-electric power production and fifth largest wind power production in the world.
Norway is lagging behind on Clean Tech export
Norway is a nation at the forefront of global environmental standards with an advanced energy-industrial complex providing a solid base for developing and profiting from a strong Clean Tech sector. Norway has a number of small and medium sized enterprises (SME) producing cutting-edge pollution control technology for which China has enormous demand.
An ambitious Norwegian policy towards China was announced by Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at Tsinghua University in 2007. The Norwegian Prime Minister declared that -we stand on the threshold of a new, green economy and announced that -together, we must explore every technological and business opportunity that promotes change.
This study shows, however, that this vision the aims of the China Strategy have so far not been followed up by concrete instruments and initiatives, and Norway is not currently exploring -every technological and business opportunity that promotes change. However, in spite of the significant potential, Norway is lagging behind other European countries regarding Clean Tech export and in promoting commercial cooperation with China.