China has now a year into its 12th 5 Year Plan (2011-2015), which has low carbon growth as the heart of its economic, political and social strategy in a way that no other major country has done to date. China now has more wind energy installed and produces more solar photovoltaic panels than any other country in the world.
The Chinese government is not doing this because it is greenwash or because it needs to please voters. It is doing this because its leading politicians are primarily engineers and scientists. They have looked at the evidence behind the science of climate change and have determined that it is being caused by man’s activities.
This is in sharp contrast to many Western politicians who say that they either “believe” or “do not believe” in global warming as though it were a religion and not a scientific problem.
By shifting solutions to global warming to the centre of its next 5 Year Plan China will also benefit from the latest ideas, engineering solutions and ultimately jobs created by this new energy revolution. Great Britain’s industrial ascendancy was made on the back of coal. The United States on the back of oil. China’s ascendancy will be on the back of the cheapest form of electricity in the world – renewable energy. In doing so it will transform not just its own economy but the geopolitical balance of the world.
The Climate Group has written a summary of the 12th 5 Year Plan and well worth reading in full. Click here to find out more.