Greenpeace says China's New Renewable Energy Promotion Law Could Be Turning Point For Sustainable Development

Press release - 2005-02-28
Greenpeace today welcomed China's continuing commitment to clean renewable energy. The Standing Committee of China People's Congress has voted to pass China's first renewable energy law.

Wind farm in Nan'ao Guangdong, China

Greenpeace today welcomed China's continuing commitment to clean renewable energy. The Standing Committee of China People's Congress has voted to pass China's first renewable energy law. Greenpeace believes that if the final definition of renewables adopted reflects that from the 2004 International Conference for Renewable Energies in Bonn then the new Chinese law could kick-start a massive take-up of clean energy, such as wind power, in China. With the potential to become a world leader in renewables China could transform the global markets.

Yu Jie, Greenpeace energy policy advisor in Beijing said: "China could and should be a world leader in renewable energy development. This law has long been anticipated by the global renewable energy industry and if the definition of renewables and the details are right then the international community will get behind China and support its ambition to become an international clean energy powerhouse."

The Renewable Energy Promotion Law chimes well with the Kyoto Protocol, which came into force on February 16th. The Protocol is the international agreement that sets a framework for taking action to tackle climate change by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause it. Evidence that climate change is already happening continues to grow and there is increasing alarm among the scientific and international policy community. On February 11th NASA scientists announced that a weak El Nino and global warming from greenhouse gas pollution is set to make 2005 the hottest year since the 1800s.

The Kyoto Protocol, which sets binding emissions reductions targets on developed countries, also includes measures to help support clean energy growth in developing countries like China. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas (such as carbon dioxide - CO2) emissions from fossil fuel burning. At present China has no binding obligations under Kyoto, but as the world's second largest emitter of CO2, international attention has focused on China and her efforts to disconnect CO2 emissions from economic growth. Renewable energy is seen as crucial and there is massive international interest in China's potential wind power and other renewable energy markets.

China has massive renewable resources - wind power alone could deliver 1 billion KW, which is three times China's current total installed capacity for electricity generation. Globally, wind power is the fastest developing renewable technology with phenomenal 30% annual growth rate worldwide. China has similarly massive potential for solar, wave, tidal and biomass power and with energy efficiency could meet all its needs solely from clean energy.

"Every wind farm built in China helps to meet the country's energy needs without threatening our futures with climate change. With her massive renewable resources China can afford to be ambitious in setting challenging targets for clean energy growth. Greenpeace will fully support the Chinese government's efforts to develop real clean energy solutions like wind power." Yu Jie said.

Categories