Posts Tagged ‘China’

The rise of state capitalism! A sustainable (new) business model or not?

January 22, 2012

The spread of a new sort of business in the emerging world will cause increasing problems

With the West in a funk and emerging markets flourishing, the Chinese no longer see state-directed firms as a way-station on the road to liberal capitalism; rather, they see it as a sustainable model. They think they have redesigned capitalism to make it work better, and a growing number of emerging-world leaders agree with them. The Brazilian government, which embraced privatisation in the 1990s, is now interfering with the likes of Vale and Petrobras, and compelling smaller companies to merge to form national champions. South Africa is also flirting with the model.

This development raises two questions. How successful is the model? And what are its consequences—both in, and beyond, emerging markets? Read more ..

The New Zealand Government is heading in the opposite direction

A key platform for the New Zealand Government leading into the general election of 2011 was to follow a systematic program of selling down it’s interests in State Owned Assets (SOE’s) like Mighty river Power and Meridian Energy as a starter. Noting that these assets have performed solidly when measured against the simplistic western and capitalist measures like ROA, ROE, ROI etc.. Given the direction of the emerging country giants like China and other pacific neighbor countries, lets watch this space as New Zealand and emerging country giants follow different paths and assess just which model is the more sustainable.

What do you think?

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The planet breathes a huge sigh of relief today

December 11, 2011

UN climate talks agree a legal pact on Global warming

Amid all the dooms-dayers, the UN climate change talks in Durban (South Africa) agreed a pact this morning that for the first time would force all the biggest polluters to take action to slow the pace of global changing.

Conference of the Parties Plenary

Conference of the Parties Plenary

 

The deal follows years of failed attempts to impose legally-binding, international cuts on emerging giants, such as China and India.

The developed world had already accepted formal targets under a first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, which runs out at the end of next year, although the United States had never ratified its commitment.

After days of emotional debate, the chairwoman of the United Nations climate talks urged delegates to approve four packages, which have legal force.

“We came here with plan A, and we have concluded this meeting with plan A to save one planet for the future of our children and our grandchildren to come,” South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said.

“We have made history,” she said, bringing the hammer down on more than two weeks of sometimes fractious talks in the South African port of Durban, the longest in two decades of UN climate talks.

The deal was welcomed by Brazil, one of the globe’s emerging economic powers.

“I am relieved we have what we came here to get. We have a robust outcome, an excellent text about a new phase in the international fight against climate change. It clearly points to action,” said Brazil’s climate envoy Luiz Alberto Figueiredo.

The Durban talks had been due to wrap up on Friday, but dragged into a second extra day on Sunday because of disputes over how to phrase the legal commitment.

The European Union pushed for strong wording and the three biggest emitters the United States, China and India resisted.

“We’ve had very intense discussions, we were not happy with reopening the text, but in the spirit of flexibility and accommodation shown by all, we have shown our flexibility, we have agreed to the words you just mentioned and we agree to adopt it,” India’s Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said.

But environmentalists and small island states, which fear they literally could sink under the rising sea levels caused by climate change, have said it is still not strong enough.

Source: The Daily Star

While it is literally only a matter of a couple of hours or so since the negotiations have ended with this new agreement, and the full agreement details understood and interpreted, this has to be a very, very good day to see all the countries of the world step up.

What do you think?

Sustainable development – Renewable energy and clean-tech jobs

December 10, 2011

Changes in renewable energy markets, investments, industries, and policies have been so rapid in recent years that perceptions of the status of renewable energy can lag years behind the reality. This report captures that reality and provides a unique overview of renewable energy worldwide as of early 2011.

Renewables 2011 Global Status Report

In several countries, renewables represent a rapidly growing share of total energy supply, including heat and transport. For example:

  • In the United States, renewable energy accounted for about 10.9% of domestic primary energy production (compared with nuclear’s 11.3%), an increase of 5.6% relative to 2009.
  • China added an estimated 29 GW of grid-connected renewable capacity, for a total of 263 GW, an increase of 12% compared with 2009. Renewables accounted for about 26% of China’s total installed electric capacity, 18% of generation, and more than 9% of final energy consumption in 2010.
  • China now leads in several indicators of market growth: in 2010, it was the top installer of wind turbines and solar thermal systems and was the top hydropower producer. India is fifth worldwide in total existing wind power capacity and is rapidly expanding many forms of rural renewables such as biogas and solar PV. Brazil produces virtually all of the world’s sugar-derived ethanol and has been adding new hydropower, biomass, and wind power plants, as well as solar heating systems.
  • Germany met 11% of its total final energy consumption with renewable sources, which accounted for 16.8% of electricity consumption, 9.8% of heat production (mostly from biomass), and 5.8% of transport fuel consumption. Wind power accounted for nearly 36% of renewable generation, followed by biomass, hydropower, and solar photovoltaics (PV).

Clean energy investment storms to new record in 2010

New investment in clean energy reached $243bn last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics:

  • Investment in small-scale, distributed generation projects surged by 91% last year to $59.6bn, with the dominant element rooftop and other small-scale solar projects, notably in Germany but also in the US, the Czech Republic, Italy and elsewhere.
  • Investment in China was up 30% to $51.1bn in 2010, by far the largest figure for any country. In 2009 Asia and Oceania overtook the Americas, and in 2010 it narrowed the gap further on Europe, Middle East and Africa as the leading region of the world for clean energy investment.
  • Offshore wind finance had another good year in 2010, led by a $1.7bn package to fund the next, 295MW phases of the Thornton Bank offshore wind farm off the coast of Belgium, and a $1bn deal to finance the Borkum West II project in German waters.
  • Research and development spending on clean energy technologies by companies and governments grew to a record level in 2010, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data. Within this, the main constituent was government R&D, which reached $21bn, up from $15.8bn in 2009, while corporate R&D recovered from 2009’s recession-hit figure of $12.8bn, to reach $14.4bn, giving a total for global clean energy R&D of $35.5bn.
Total new investment 2004 to 2010

Total new investment 2004 to 2010

Read more here from Bloomberg New Energy Finance …

Clean-tech jobs

One of the forces propelling renewable energy policies and development is the potential to create new industries and generate new jobs. Jobs from renewables number in the hundreds of thousands in several countries. Globally, there are more than 3.5 million direct jobs in renewable energy industries, about half of them in the biofuels industry, with additional indirect jobs well beyond this figure.

Click here to read the full Renewables 2011 Global Status Report.

The evidence is clear – isn’t it?

 

Tell us what do you think?

 

 

Lessons from the past. China!

December 7, 2011

As world leaders converge on Durban and attempt to thrash out a replacement Kyoto Protocol agreement beyond December 2012, this provided an opportunity to view a number of the countries who a promoting what they are doing practically to combat the challenges posed by climate change.

China is often criticized by the west (developed countries) for the amount of emissions coming from it’s economy. What this discussion fails to acknowledge is what China is practically doing within its economy particularly in response to the last world energy crisis in the mid to late 1980’s.

Invest in renewable energy technology

China's High-Power Semiconductor Laser Production Line

China's High-Power Semiconductor Laser Production Line

China Energy Conservation & Environmental Protection Group

Message from the President

“I sincerely hope CECEP could work with the good companies from all over the world, to develop the industry of energy conservation and environmental protection together, to achieve the targets of effectively controlling greenhouse gas emission and enforcing the capacity for sustainable development.

We shall consider ensuring and maintaining economic development as the core; saving energy and resource, optimizing energy structure and strengthening ecological protection as the priorities and improving techniques as the support, in order to continuously enhance the ability of coping with the massive climate change issues, make earnest contribution to global sustainable development, and create a prosperous future for all of us together”.

Read more …..

 

It is important to take a long term view (as China does) when considering how countries should respond to the challenges of climate change. It is incredibly naive to think that processes like the Kyoto Protocol and durban will suddenly see all developed and developing countries suddenly come away holding hands. This fails to acknowledge that each country has it’s own domestic challenges that it try’s to manage and deal with.

The mistake in this thinking is to think that countries like China are not committed to substantively tackling the challenges of climate change. There are clearly some lessons to be learned by looking at what China IS actually doing.

Just quite mind-blowing seeing and listening to what China has on display in Durban.

What do you think?

 


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