'Joint ventures' could help nation turn green
By Fu Jing and Yu Tianyu (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-10-26 10:49

Chinese companies should set up "joint ventures" with technology groups in developed nations to pursue its aim of developing a "low-carbon" economy, a leading British economist has said.

Nicholas Stern, a former UK government advisor famous for his report on climate change, said this approach can help China benefit from energy efficient and environmentally friendly technologies developed in other nations.

Stern, now an economics and government professor at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, spoke during an interview with China Daily on Friday when he met representatives from various fields in China to help facilitate the international climate change negotiation next year.

He said that it is compulsory for industrial countries to offer technological aid to developing nations. But he also encouraged "joint ventures" between countries.

Currently, many developing countries, including China, reached the consensus to develop their economy by using low-carbon technologies but the developed countries have required high transfer fees.

"This has blocked many of us (developing countries) from using the advanced technologies," said Ren Zhiqiang, president of the Beijing-based real estate company Huayuan Group when he discussed with Stern at a seminar on Friday.

"For the good of the earth, the developed countries should offer environmentally friendly technologies free of charge," Ren said.

Stern said high-carbon growth will by the middle of the century have taken greenhouse gas concentration to a point where a major climate disaster is very likely. "We must promote growth that can be sustained," he added.

He said that a low-carbon infrastructure also represents huge investment opportunities. The International Energy Agency estimates that world energy infrastructure investments are likely to be around $1 trillion every year over the next two decades.

"If the majority of this is low carbon, it will be an outstanding source of investment demand," said Stern. "That's an opportunity both for China and the rest of the world."

Wu Jianmin, the former Chinese ambassador to France also agreed that a low-carbon economy would represent another new economic growth area.

Wu urged government officials at all levels along with Chinese enterprises, at a news conference in Beijing held by the Climate Group, a UK-based environmental NGO, to further promote business linked to promoting the low-carbon economy in many of the country's industries.

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