April 5th, 2012

China’s giant green leap?

Who thinks China is a threat? Three lonely hands wave in a packed Massey University lecture theatre.

Who thinks China is an opportunity? Jonathan Watts asks. This time, over half of the 140-strong audience raise their hands.

China's large land mass and long coastline make it well-suited for wind generation projects. In recent years, China has harnessed this wind with all number of wind-farms. It's wind capacity is set to triple by 2015.

China’s large land mass and long coastline make it well-suited for wind generation projects. In recent years, China has harnessed this wind with all number of wind-farms. Its wind capacity is set to triple by 2015.

Watts, the Guardian’s Asia environment correspondent, believes China is both.

His April tour around the country followed the lessons of his 2010 book When A Billion Chinese Jump: How China will save mankind – or destroy it introducing the notion of China’s potential as a ‘green’ superpower.

Red China, I’d learnt from history books. A black China, with its smog, rubbish and stench, I knew from a recent holiday.

But a green China? Surely, Watts is pulling my leg.

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