Tag Archives: carbon emissions

ULI Greenprint Foundation

ULI Joins Forces With Greenprint Foundation To Promote Green Development

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is enhancing its commitment to environmentally conscious development with the transfer of the activities and assets of the Greenprint Foundation into the newly formed ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance. With this action, ULI is continuing the operation of a unique industry-to-industry initiative through which leading real estate professionals exchange information and measure individual building and portfolio performance on the basis of energy use and carbon emissions.

The announcement of the transfer of the Greenprint Foundation’s activities and assets to the institute was made Friday at ULI’s headquarters office in Washington, D.C. The ULI Greenprint Center will be incorporated into ULI’s broader Climate, Land Use and Energy (CLUE) initiative. The center will carry on the Greenprint Foundation’s mission, which is to lead the global real estate community in the use of greenhouse gas reduction strategies that support the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) goals for global greenhouse gas stabilization by 2030. The ULI Greenprint Center will continue to advance the Greenprint Foundation’s goal of a 50-percent reduction in building emissions by that date. Currently, the energy used in buildings represents one-third of all global energy consumption.

ULI, with nearly 30,000 members worldwide — including 850 in Arizona — is a 75-year-old research and education institute dedicated to leadership in the responsible use of land and building sustainable, thriving communities. The Greenprint Foundation, currently based in New York City, was founded in 2009 by longtime ULI member Ronald P. Weidner as a worldwide alliance of real estate owners, investors, financial institutions and other industry stakeholders committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the global property industry. To date, the Greenprint Foundation’s member organizations are: Aetos Capital; AvalonBay; Beacon Capital Partners; Blackstone Group; DEXUS Property Group; Douglas Emmett; Equity Office Properties; GE Capital Real Estate; GLL Real Estate Partners; Hines; Jones Lang LaSalle; LaSalle Investment Management; Paramount Group; PATRIZIA Immobilien; Prologis; Prudential Real Estate Investors; RREEF, a member of the Deutsche Bank Group; Sonae Sierra; and TIAA-CREF.

“With the support and resources of ULI, the ULI Greenprint Center will lead the global property markets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a meaningful and measurable way. More importantly, it can help change the behavior of the population at large,” said Weidner, the founder of the Greenprint Foundation.

The flagship product of the Greenprint Foundation is its Greenprint Performance Report™, which includes the Greenprint Carbon Index (GCX), a tool used by Greenprint Foundation members to gauge relative progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions over time. The first volume of the report, issued in 2010, contained results obtained from performance during 2009 as a baseline measurement. The second volume, issued in 2011, had results for 2010 that included 1,623 properties in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and which covered a total of 31 million square meters of commercial space. It showed a 0.6 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the previous year on the like-for-like portfolio of submitted properties.

The international scope and size of the report, including the GCX, make it one of the real estate industry’s largest, most verifiable, transparent and comprehensive energy benchmarking tools. It is unique in that it provides an open standard for measuring, benchmarking and tracking energy usage and resulting emissions on a building or portfolio basis.

Carbon-equivalent emissions are measured in kilograms per square meter of space per year, and the analysis is conducted for each building or group of buildings, and then reported in the aggregate for each property asset type: office, industrial, retail, multifamily and hotels.

“The voluntary information exchange between Greenprint Foundation members that informs the report reflects ULI’s time-tested tradition of sharing knowledge for the benefit of the industry. We look forward to building on the collaborative spirit and effort that has formed the basis for the Greenprint Foundation and its Carbon Index,” said ULI Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “Through the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance, we are aiming to fill a void of information on the value of investments in energy conservation and greenhouse gas reductions. We are extremely excited about the ability of this new center to demonstrate that environmentally sound building practices make economic sense.”

The ULI Greenprint Center is an extension of ULI’s long involvement in environmental issues. Since its establishment in 1936, ULI has played a decisive role in the formation of industry best practices regarding land use, green buildings, sustainable communities, smart growth, transit-oriented development, land conservation and green infrastructure. The ULI Greenprint Center will assume the Greenprint Foundation’s existing research program and ongoing engagement with owners of real estate toward value-enhancing carbon reduction strategies. ULI Trustee Charles B. Leitner III, formerly the president and chief executive officer of the Greenprint Foundation, will be the chairman of the ULI Greenprint Center and will serve as co-chairman of the advisory board for ULI’s CLUE initiative.

“The creation of the center will enable both organizations to jointly leverage their resources to keep the Greenprint Foundation’s momentum going,” Leitner said. “I see the ULI Greenprint Center’s work as becoming the global real estate industry’s diary of its efforts to dramatically lower the impact of buildings on the environment. We will continue to promote increased awareness of innovative technologies and best operating practices to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. Through this center, ULI can help position the land use and real estate industry as part of the solution to climate change.”

The ULI Greenprint Center will join ULI’s existing dedicated centers of research and programs, which include the ULI J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing, the ULI Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use, and the ULI Center for Capital Markets in Real Estate. Together, these centers of research and program excellence form dedicated components of ULI’s broader research and education activities.

The ULI Greenprint Center’s work will be guided by an advisory board, to be chaired by Leitner, which will include key industry leaders from Greenprint’s founding member companies. Among other members, the advisory board will include Weidner; ULI Trustee and first Greenprint President Kenneth W. Hubbard, executive vice president of Hines U.S. in New York City; Fred A. Seigel, president and chief operating officer, Beacon Capital Partners, LLC, Boston; Colin Dyer, president and chief executive officer, Jones Lang LaSalle, Chicago; Gerd Kremer, managing director, GLL Real Estate Partners, Munich; and Ron Herbst, global head of energy management and sustainability, Deutsche Bank AG London in London. Patrick and ULI Senior Vice President for Initiatives Uwe Brandes will also serve on the advisory board. The ULI Greenprint Center Advisory Board will work with the center’s staff to build on recent accomplishments and further develop the center in accordance with its mission.

For more information about the Urban Land Institiute, visit uli.org.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Science & Technology Facility, SmithGroup, Carbon Measurements

Carbon as the New Metric for Measuring Building Performance

The design of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Science & Technology Facility along with on-site generation of renewable energy and purchase of green power has yielded a carbon reduction of 95 percent or 6 lbs/sf/yr.

The stakes are high! There is an increased sense of urgency to address the problem of global climate change. As has been well-documented over the past few years, ever-rising greenhouse gas emissions have been attributed in large part to human activity. The situation was stated by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their Fourth Assessment Report issued in February 2007. In reality, emissions are accelerating at a much faster rate than even the IPCC has predicted over the last eight years.

As documented in the report, there is agreement among the scientific community that a 2o C (3.5o F) rise in temperature constitutes a tipping point where the damages of global warming will be irreversible. This equates to an atmospheric CO2 equivalent concentration of 450 parts per million (ppm). The current CO2 concentration level is around 386 ppm. CO2 represents greater than 75 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. If we add in all other sources, we may currently be reaching an equivalent CO2 concentration of 430 ppm. As you can see, there isn’t much room, especially considering the CO2 concentration curve is accelerating.

Building Industry
The building industry is a major contributor to the greenhouse gas inventory through both direct (project site) and indirect (source) emissions. Source emissions account for a majority of building sector impacts and are those that are generated elsewhere, mainly by fossil fuel-based power plants, as a consequence of our actions. The Architecture 2030 Challenge has indicated that buildings account for more than 48 percent of all energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions annually, and consume 76 percent of all electricity produced by power plants. Because we are responsible for creating the built environment, the building industry must take a leadership role in helping to solve this crisis.

New Carbon Economy
There are several options for how best to deal with climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Because carbon dioxide represents a majority of the greenhouse gases, several schemes have been created — Carbon Cap and Trade, Carbon Tax, and other variations — to deal with that element. Cap and Trade is a market-driven system where a central authority sets a limit on emissions as well as a price. The cap total is divided into allowances or permits which are allocated to participating entities based on current emission levels. Every year, the cap and number of allowances is reduced, forcing participants to either cut their emissions or purchase unused permits to offset their pollution.

Proponents believe that these systems will provide a financial incentive for companies to reduce their emissions. Opponents feel that imposing a cost on carbon would translate into higher energy costs. The new administration is taking up this issue currently, but no matter which scheme is implemented, there is a clear sense of urgency if the U.S. — and the world — hopes to affect climate change.

New Direction for Measuring Building Performance
Building performance is often measured in terms of Energy Use Intensity (EUI) in kBTU’s per square foot annually, or Energy Cost Savings in dollars per square foot annually. Even though these metrics are important to evaluate, they do not easily translate to environmental impacts. If we are ever going to bring the discussion to the language of mitigation, we must define a different metric for measuring building performance. I suggest that the common metric should be in terms of carbon reduction per project in pounds (or tons) per square foot annually.

As we move into this new economy, organizations and companies will most likely be required to report their carbon emissions annually and to find ways of reducing their impacts. So why doesn’t the building industry jump on board and start informing building owners of how their buildings are mitigating climate change? Owners will soon demand this as part of their organization’s commitment. Climate change must be addressed in the design and construction of their facilities. Owners will also demand to know what the design and construction industry’s experience and expertise is in addressing climate change when hiring firms.

The stakes are high and we, in the building industry, must be the leaders in providing buildings that succeed in the new carbon economy.

Electric Vehicle were a big hit in 2010 in Arizona

Arizona’s “Green” Future Was Founded In 2010

2010 will probably be remembered more for the challenges it brought than the successes it yielded in our Valley and state. But out of the darkness came some light, and the illumination casts hope for a bright future.

Countless volunteers gave generously of their time, talent and treasury to support green initiatives in our region despite a challenging economy. Their efforts are evident in a range of projects that contribute to the sustainability of our unique desert environment. And their commitment will make our communities stronger, more vibrant places.

Working together, they’re a testament to the power of collaboration representing companies both large and small, government entities, educators, non-profits and concerned citizens. Their individual successes are our collective treasures:

We’re one of five states selected to deploy “smart” charging stations as part of an electric vehicle program by ECOtality and the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of charging stations in Phoenix and Tucson will create more green jobs, less pollution and a reduction on foreign oil dependency.

Daily ridership on our 20-mile light rail system exceeded expectations by an average of 58 percent, and a new Adopt-A-Station program promotes use of public transportation. In addition, the city of Phoenix in partnership with ASU, APS and other sponsors received $25 million in stimulus funds to build the Green Rail Corridor Demonstration Project to showcase ways to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions.

The Center for Teacher Success was officially launched to improve the academic achievement of Arizona students by elevating the professional performance of their teachers and education leaders. Several non-profits partnered to provide environmental education resources to teachers through workshops, forums and special events.

In the wake of municipal budget cuts, Adopt-A-Park programs have drawn thousands of volunteers to trash pickups, tree plantings and general spruce ups of city recreation areas.  The city of Chandler opened the Paseo Vista Recreation Area, a 64-acre park built atop the closed city landfill; and the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center opened on the banks of the river in Phoenix to connect people with nature.

The town of Gilbert celebrated its 90th anniversary and was named the 17th safest city in America, one of the best places to live in the U.S. and among the best places in the nation to learn.

Several LEED certified projects came online throughout our region, and 12 Valley mayors signed a proclamation by Valley Forward and the U.S. Green Building Council, Arizona Chapter in support of green schools.

Through a preservation-by-relocation effort, the Sandra Day O’Connor House, originally constructed in Paradise Valley as a family home for the former Supreme Court Justice, was undertaken and piece-by-piece, the entire house was deconstructed and transported to Tempe. It was meticulously reconstructed in Papago Park, with a keen focus on historic preservation and environmental sustainability.

Our region overall has become a brighter green in the past year. And it occurred in the worst recession most of us can remember in our lifetime.  As the year closes with winter’s short days and long evenings, we’re reminded that even in the darkness there is light.

Greenpeace International Urges Facebook To Use Green Data Centers

Greenpeace International Urges Facebook To Use Green Data Centers

Facebook is often under some kind of scrutiny in the news. Lately, this has been because of ongoing privacy complaints against the social-networking giant.

But the latest issue with Facebook isn’t about privacy, it’s about energy. An article in the NY Times highlights the issue. Greenpeace International, an environmental campaigner, contends that Facebook’s latest data center (under construction) in Prineville, Oregon, isn’t good for the environment. The data center is powered by PacifiCorp, a company that gets 58 percent of its energy from burning coal.

For a site that has more than 500 million members, Facebook’s reliance on data centers is obvious. But is this coming at a price? In the article, Lisa Rhodes, vice president of marketing and sales at Verne Global, a data center company based in Iceland, stated that “according to the Environmental Protection Agency, data centers now account for 1.5 percent of all electricity consumption in the U.S. and by 2020, carbon emissions will have quadrupled to 680 million tons per year, which will account for more than the aviation industry.”

Greenpeace is urging Facebook to switch to a more environmentally friendly source of energy. Other technology giants such as Google, Yahoo, Toshiba and Hewlett Packard have already taken steps to toward becoming greener. Google invested $38 million in wind farms and Yahoo cut 40 percent of carbon intensity of its data centers by 2014.

Yet, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is fighting back against these allegations. In a Facebook message to a Greenpeace supporter he writes: “Some of the old data centers we rent use coal, but most are already green.” He also added: “The newer ones we’re building from scratch in Oregon use hydro power from dams. We’re moving in the right direction.” Facebook representatives also added that Facebook rents data center space that is shared with other companies, making it impossible to decide what energy it’s powered with. However, the company did say that they’re moving toward larger, customized data centers with a focus on energy efficiency.

So what do you think? I doubt the thought of energy  efficiency crosses our minds as we log onto Facebook. But it’s good to hear that there are groups out there committed to implementing the type of change we need for a greener future and that companies are taking responsibility and responding to it.

www.facebook.com
www.nytimes.com

www.greenpeace.org

Eco Tourism - travel green

Ecotourism – The Green Way To Vacation

The United Nations designated 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism. Well it’s 2010 and I bet that the majority of people haven’t taken an eco-vacation.  I know I haven’t.

We try to be eco-friendly.  We buy reusable water bottles and lunch pails.  We turn off the lights more often and take shorter showers.  But what if we could reduce, reuse and recycle while having an amazing vacation?

I’d say, “Sign me up.”

I did some Internet research and I found out some major and minor ways you can be an eco-tourist.

Minor Ways to Help Mother Earth

The International Ecotourism Society has 10 energy saving tips for travelers.

Here are three of them:

Stay longer at your destination to avoid frequent air travel. I think we could all stand to stay a little longer at our chosen destination. This way you can discover, learn and play more while reducing your carbon footprint.

Travel light. Every extra, unneeded item in your bag adds to the weight of the plane, which increases the carbon emissions of your flight.  Travel light and leave a light carbon footprint behind.

Just like at home, turn off water and unplug electronics when you leave. When you’re on vacation, you’re most likely not spending too much time in your hotel room.  It’s easy to forget that just because you’re not paying for the electricity that doesn’t mean that Mother Nature should have to pay too.

Major Ways to See and Save the Earth

Travel somewhere that involves more hiking and less traffic. Hiking, kayaking, biking and other similar activities involve little to no adverse impacts on the Earth.  Plus, it’s a great way to explore the beauty and diversity of nature.

Stay at eco-friendly hotels. Although it may be a bit more expensive it is doable.  Some hotels claim to be green simply because they ask you if you want to reuse your towels and sheets.  Hopefully these websites will help sort out the imposters from the true blue “green” hotels.

Be a voluntourist. A voluntourist is a combination between a tourist and a volunteer.  He or she travels a location and gives back to the community, whether it be through developing wildlife and plant life or helping at a local school.  Being a voluntourist might sound like something college students do, but anyone, at any age can do it.

Ecotourism covers a broad range of vacation destinations and activities to help preserve the Earth, which is one of the reasons why eight years ago the U.N. made an effort to promote it.  Along with the range of ecotourism choices comes a range of things tourists can do – from giving their time to leaving that tenth pair of shoes that probably won’t get worn anyway at home.

Google Buys Wind Power

Oil Spill, Google Wind Power & More

From global new to local business this week we’ve gathered stories about how hair can help the oil spill, what Belgium wants to do with the deceased, Google buying wind power and more. Plus, we’ve got an additional story on what one Valley business is doing to help the environment.

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing Shelby Hill.

Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.

Local
Cut Your Hair and Help the Oil Spill
Matter of Trust wants you to mail your hair, your dog’s hair and your kids’ hair to them to help soak up the oil in the Gulf.  Send hair to 99 Saint Germain Ave., San Francisco, CA 94114, and visit http://www.matteroftrust.org/ to see images of the hair in action.

Learn about the “Energize Phoenix Project”
The “Energize Phoenix Project” will provide energy-efficient improvements to neighborhoods along the 10-mile stretch of Phoenix’s light rail corridor.  It’s expected that this project will create up to 8,000 new jobs over the next six years.  To learn more about this project, attend the Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce’s education forum on Monday, July 26.

National
Google Buys 20 Years of Wind Power from Iowa Farm
Google Energy, a subsidiary of Google, signed a 20-year deal with Story II Wind Energy Center in Iowa to buy wind power.  This is another step in achieving Google’s goal of becoming a carbon-neutral company.

In California, Kaiser Gives $1 Million to Build Green Health Clinic
La Maestra Community Health Center in San Diego would not only be green, but also help promote green building and living to the surrounding community.  La Maestra could be the first of its kind to earn LEED certification.  This clinic’s impact wouldn’t be small either, the clinic, expected to be 36,400 square feet, is projected to see 180,000 patient and client visits annually.

International
An Eco-Friendly Burial Isn’t a Burial at All
Belgium authorities hatched a plan to dissolve the dead in caustic solutions and flush them into the sewer system as a way to replace cremating and burial in a cemetery, which are both not environmentally friendly. Six states, including Colorado and Oregon, recently passed legislation to allow this process to occur in the United States.

Iceland Volcano Causes Decrease in CO2 Emissions
Think back to April when the hard-to-pronounce volcano Eyjafjallajökull had European planes grounded for six days.  Those six days without most of the European air traffic decreased our carbon emissions dramatically.  The volcano did release CO2, but at a much lower rate than humans produce.  Is nature sending us a message?

Battling Urban Sprawl by Creating Parks

Green News Roundup – Recycling, Oil Spill, Climate Change & More

Welcome to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve gathered stories about stylish ways to recycle your paper, climate change regulation, urban sprawl and more.

Please feel free to send along any stories you’d like to see in the roundup by e-mailing me at kasia@azbigmedia.com. Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state.

Two-in-One Design
The talented folks over at Pigeontail Design have come up with a way to recycle all that junk mail and decorate your living room at the same time. How you may ask? Answer: The Papervore. This versatile piece of furniture doubles as a coffee table AND a paper shredder. Just crank it and be rid of all those pesky flyers. On that note, here are some quick links about recycling paper here in the Valley: phoenix.gov and www.recyclearizona.net.

Gulf oil spill figures may be double earlier estimates
Unfortunately the oil spill disaster isn’t getting better any time soon. According to government scientists, as many as 40,000 barrels of oil per day have been gushing into the gulf. And even more bad news, BP has said that the blown-out well won’t be plugged before August.

Preventing Urban Sprawl with Parks
Phoenix has mastered urban sprawl, however, what if we could conserve land by creating more parks? This blog suggests that urban sprawl could be reduced if cities simply provided citizens with more park space. Parks provide citizens with the same open, natural space that yards do, but parks do it in a more space-conscious way.

Senate Rejects Republican Effort to Thwart Carbon Limits
This article from The New York Times details how a Senate vote could effect potential climate change legislation in the future. On Thursday, June 10, the Senate rejected an attempted block on new EPA carbon emissions limits. The EPA released findings in 2009 that showed that carbon emissions were a threat to human health and the environment. Limiting carbon emissions is a contentious debate on both sides of the aisle.

Urban Land Institute

Earth Day 2010: A Pivot Point for Land Use and Community Building

By Patrick L. Phillips
Chief Executive Officer, Urban Land Institute

The fortieth annual recognition of Earth Day finds the world of land use in the midst of change, much as it was in 1970. However, in terms of community building, where we’ve been over the past four decades is not where we are headed for the next 40 years. What we’ve learned is that we can build in a way that both accommodates growth and protects — even enhances — the environment.

When the recognition of Earth Day began, people were moving to suburbia by the hundreds of thousands, returning to downtowns primarily to work or shop in department stores. Suburban malls were still innovative; the average home cost about $23,400 and covered 1,400 square feet; the average car cost $3,900 (plus $39 for an eight-track stereo); and a gallon of gas cost about 36 cents.

Triggered by relatively cheap housing, cars and gas, our urban regions were continuing the postwar form: growing outward in two general patterns – rings, based primarily around major highway construction that circled around cities; or linear growth tracking a spine of major highways. The result was the familiar “hub and spoke” metropolitan pattern. Our cities were growing in spite of the environment, not in harmony with it.

Even as urban sprawl was advancing, the Urban Land Institute warned of the potential for dire consequences. A 1970 article in Urban Land magazine cautioned, “We have carried the concept of conquest and dominion over nature to a point where large areas of our living environment have become not only unsightly but downright unhealthy.” It implored the land use community to be aware of development’s toll on air and water quality, and to appreciate “the interplay between the natural earth forces and land development activities.”

It was a fortuitous message then, and one with even more relevance now: How we use land matters. Land use has an enormous impact, not just on the natural environment, but on the long term economic and social viability of our cities. Vast demographic, financial, and environmental shifts are necessitating a major overhaul in what and where we build, and will continue to do over the next 40 years leading to Earth Day 2050.
Among the forces of change now in place:

  • The U.S. population has grown by more than 100 million people since 1970, with an additional 150 million expected over the next 40 years;
  • The first wave of baby boomers are hitting 65 — most will shun retirement and stay in the workforce, and many, if healthy now, could still be alive in 40 years;
  • The children of baby boomers, Generation Y (the most technologically connected generation in history) has started to enter the housing market and workforce;
  • Household size is shrinking, due to more people living alone, delaying marriage and childbirth, and having fewer children;
  • The U.S. is now the largest importer of oil, rather than the largest exporter, leading to stepped up efforts to develop alternate sources of energy;
  • The U.S. transportation infrastructure system, once a world leader due to the new interstate highway system, is now falling far behind Asia and Europe in terms of transportation investments;
  • Concerns over climate change have resulted in an increasing number of government mandates aimed at limiting carbon emissions from vehicles and buildings; and
  • The worst economic downturn since the Great Depression has 1) thrown credit markets into prolonged turmoil; and 2) left many markets with unprecedented housing foreclosures, causing a decline in the homeownership rate and a long-term change in the perception of homeownership as the American Dream.

All these changes are taking place as the U.S. is becoming an increasingly urban nation, and as our urban regions are evolving into different nodes of employment, housing and recreation spanning 40 or 50 more miles. It is difficult to predict exactly what the city in 2050 will look like. However, what is clear is that piece-meal, haphazard and poorly connected development is a thing of the past. It’s also clear that the majority of the growth will occur not in downtowns, but in the suburbs. And in these areas, less land will have to be used to accommodate more people. This change in how suburban areas grow will have a major influence on the environmental and economic sustainability of entire metropolitan regions.

Going forward, this is what we can expect: building more densely to conserve energy, water and land, and to reduce the need to drive. Better coordination of land use planning and transportation planning, so that more development is oriented toward transit options. And, reusing and adapting obsolete space in a way that reflects the changing needs and desires of a much more mobile society – a society in which many are likely to rent longer and change jobs much more frequently.

At 40 years, Earth Day 2010 marks a pivot point for land use and community building. Looking forward to Earth Day 2050, it’s important to consider how the impact of urban design and development meets residents’ expectations for livability, amenities, flexibility and choice. Ultimately, cities are about what’s best for people, not buildings, and not cars. The places that get this right will be the winners in the decades ahead.

www.uli.org

China Skyscrapers

China Leading The Way In Green Technology

Though the country is the world’s top polluter, that isn’t stopping China from leading the way on new green technology. China has begun an effort to figure out how to burn coal without releasing carbon into the atmosphere.That’s quite an ambitious goal — especially for a country that is the biggest source of carbon emissions — but one that could completely alter the future of the green industry.

And that’s not all. China is making strides in several sectors and is on the road to revolutionizing the green industry.

In an article for the Wall Street Journal, Shai Oster writes:

“China’s vast market and economies of scale are bringing down the cost of solar and wind energy, as well as other environmentally friendly technologies such as electric car batteries. That could help address a major impediment to wide adoption of such technologies: They need heavy subsidies to be economical.
The so-called China price — the combination of cheap labor and capital that rewrote the rulebook on manufacturing — is spreading to green technology. “The China price will move into the renewable-energy space, specifically for energy that relies on capital-intensive projects,” says Jonathan Woetzel, a director in McKinsey & Co.’s China office.”

The article goes on to state that China is facing some tough challenges. Their low-cost manufacturing base can slow down their innovation, or worse yet, could restrain technology advancement in other countries as well.

Read the full article here to find out more.

What do you think? What kind of an impact will China’s surge in the sustainability sector have?

www.wsj.com