China to Invest $375B in Green Projects to Cut Pollution

Over the next five years, China will invest 2.3 trillion yuan ($375 billion) in projects intended to reduce emissions and save energy, according to the China Daily. So reports Reuters.

The investment has already been given the green light by the State Council and is in addition to a $302 billion investment the government was going to make in the renewable energy arena. The projects highlight the government’s desire to address an area of mounting public concern.

Pollution has long been a concern. Indeed, air quality in Beijing and its environs was heavily polluted in June, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) said this week. So reports China Daily. Air quality readings for 74 cities and three city agglomerations showed an inordinate amount of pollution for almost a quarter of the month, said the MEP.

The Chinese government has said it aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40% to 45% per unit of GDP by the year 2020, over 2005 levels. It also hopes to increase consumption of non-fossil fuels to 15% of its energy mix, Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), was quoted as saying. So reports Reuters.

To cut down on pollution, the Chinese government plans to have tiered power pricing for more than a half dozen industries that use a lot of energy. The government also plans to broaden a carbon trading pilot program to additional cities. So far, the NDRC has told seven cities and provinces, including Shanghai, to create regional carbon trading markets. The goal is to establish a national market, Zhenhua is quoted as saying.

But while investment in the sector is growing over the long term, investment in 2013 is expected to slow down this year over last year, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Justin Wu in a recent video interview. While investment last year was $65 billion, it may be just $49 billion this year, on account of the credit crunch, where the money supply is tight, and because the cost of clean energy has come down, so less dollars are needed on each investment. Despite the reduction, China is still the largest market for clean energy investment in the world, ahead of the U.S., Bloomberg reports.

To read the Reuters article cited in this story, click here.

To read the China Daily article cited in this story, click here.

To view the Bloomberg video cited in this story, click here.


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