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Sustainable development in China: a worthwhile market

China is often seen at first as a latecomer in terms of sustainable development. It is certainly the biggest polluter, but it is also one that has established a very ambitious development strategy in terms of sustainability. There is a worthwhile market!

Inventory and government strategy

In 2013, China issued 10 billion tons of CO2: the first polluter in the world.

Pollution becomes a real concern for large cities residents. This concern has repercussions on the economic level, it is increasingly difficult to attract talents in big polluted cities.

The government made the strategic choice for sustainable development. It has set goals in terms of sustainable development and he intends to achieve them. Systems with fines have already been set up for those who do not comply with the new rules.

In 2002, the Chinese government had already announced that the Circular Economy was considered a national strategy and set up a legal system to achieve its goals. 6 eco-cities and 14 eco-parks projects have therefore been developed. The concept of circular economy concerns the industrial production but also transportation, household waste or even appliances and water recycling among others.

According to a market analysis conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), ten years later, in 2012, China spent $ 68 billion in renewable energy projects, In 2013, the government announced the production of 49,000 megawatts (MW) coming from solar, hydro and wind technology .

China is becoming the world’s largest market for green energy.

China is ready to partner with foreign countries in sustainable development, if it can enable them to implement effective solutions. The agreement between the Chinese government and the French government in 2007, aimed at “promoting the study and the realization of eco-districts in the areas of Chinese economic and technical development at national level, to stimulate business between companies trade and professional organizations of both countries”, is a perfect example of the opening of China to the Western solutions concerning sustainable development and environment.

What strategy for Western companies?

Chinese are ahead in technology itself, particularly regarding the purification of air. Western companies, faced with less pollution, have not had the need to develop advanced air purification technologies. However, there has to be a real market for Western companies specialized in solutions that reduce CO2 emissions or in the analysis and changes in consumer behavior in terms of sustainable development. The companies specialized in those fields have a card to play.

Western companies specialized in sustainable development have every incentive to locate themselves in eco parks, seeking solutions to recycling, green buildings but also, and especially, solutions that allow to change the behavior of consumers towards more sustainable consumption choices. Innovative Western companies here can make their contribution by integrating into these eco-projects. For this, we must monitor calls for projects and build a network in the Chinese market, a presence in the Chinese market seems to be mandatory .

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DATE November 11, 2014
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