Beyond Pollution: China’s Eco-Revolution
Posted on Mar 15, 2011 / Author: Joanna Wong / Tags: Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment, China, clean technology, environment, pollution
Source: The Green Long March, greenchinanow
With over 20 percent of the overseas Chinese population living in Canada, it’s time we ask about what a more eco-friendly China means for our side of the Pacific.
Yes, we’ve all seen the pictures: coal-streaked skies and bleak industrial towns. China is seriously, cancerously polluted.
Environmental slogans about our shared “one planet” have never been more accurate: toxins, pesticides and other scary chemicals from China regularly reach the western coastlines of Canada as they float to the Arctic.
Yet while China may be the earth’s most polluted country, it is also arguably its greenest.
Here are the numbers: Last year China invested $34 billion in clean technology and will soon become the world’s largest producer – and consumer – of alternative energy.
In the upcoming 12th Five Year Plan, China’s economic blueprint until 2015, the government is expected to put US$1.5 trillion towards green jobs and industries.
That kind of money could pay off Canada’s some $40-billion dollar national deficit and buy a Prius hybrid car for every citizen in the country.
Upwards of 3,000 Green organizations form the largest and boldest part of China’s civil society. Even once-controversial Greenpeace is regularly quoted in state newspapers.
Yet despite Canada’s diverse Asian population, when it comes to green work, we often don’t speak the same language. Non-profit Rangi Changi is one of Canada’s few voices on multicultural environmentalism - the idea that diverse communities should "work together for a fair and healthy planet."
China is poised to lead the world in clean energy. Chinese environmentalists are speaking up on both sides of the Pacific.
For our collective future, we need to listen to what they have to say.
The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.