China is going green

China believes it can meet European targets on renewable energy by producing 20% of its energy needs through wind and solar power. Whereas Japan is aiming for 15% in the same time frame, a target that environmentalists call “appalling” yet is in line with the USA’s and Australia’s less ambitious targets.

China’s aims include a three-fold increase in both solar power energy production and in wind energy production targets. As in the UK, China is also promoting energy-efficient lightbulbs, installing 100 million of them this year. China may even beat the USA in solar heating array targets for 2020. Funding for these ambitious targets will come from China’s $590bn economic stimulus package. Over $30bn will be directly spent on environmental projects and even more money put into carbon-efficient transport and electricity transmission systems.

We will all however, have to wait until December when a climate change agreement to supersede the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 should be agreed in Copenhagen. This new agreement will allow everyone to see how far China and other countries are willing to go in formally cutting climate change emissions.

Original articles in the Guardian (10/06/09) and on the BBC website (10/06/09).