China driving forward with cleantech

Cleantech sales in China surpass the EU and dwarf the US

Cleantech sales in China surpass the EU and dwarf the US

China is leading the way in clean technology investment, according to a report by the WWF.

Sales of $71.2bn have seen China surpass the EU to become the world’s leading manufacturer of clean technology, caused by heavy investment in R&D and low labour costs.

The figures are encouraging, particularly as the US is failing to take the initiative with driving the market, instead preferring to focus more on traditional energy sources. The US does have a strong presence in biofuels, but are not investing much in other areas of clean energy. Despite sales of $46.5bn, they are far behind the Chinese and even the EU, who have $59.2bn of cleantech sales.

Samantha Smith, the WWF’s global climate and energy policy leader, praised the Chinese government for their commitment in the sector: “Political will is what separates winners from losers in the clean economy of the future, and that’s what the rankings show. Their governments invested, and now the winners are getting the sales, jobs and technology.”

Smith added that it’s important for countries to be forward thinking in their energy policy in order to see the long-term benefits. “The countries that are capturing global markets have all realised that cleantech is an important part of their energy policy, economic policy and industrial policy. These countries are supporting the clean energy technology industry, and have stable, long-term policies generating green investments. They incentivise the right areas, and now they’re reaping the rewards.”

With a need to push cleantech into a mainstream energy sector, a major economy needs to take the reins and drive growth. With the US reluctant to do so, China is seizing the opportunity.

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