China is embarking on the most ambitious environmental reform program in history — by necessity. China’s environmental woes are nothing new, but they have hit an inflection point.
Less than 40 percent of China’s groundwater is safe for consumption. Only 16 of the 161 cities monitored met the national standards of urban air quality in 2014. Almost 20 per of China’s surveyed soil exceeds the national pollution standards, which amounts to 19 percent of their arable land being contaminated. And, while the rate of growth is slowing, China still emits more CO₂ than that of the US and the EU combined.
Total environmental expenditures are expected to exceed $1 trillion during the execution period of the 13th Five Year Plan.
This amounts to a 60 percent increase over the last Five-Year Plan. But, the Chinese government can fund only 15 percent of this initiative.
What China needs now is support from private sector environmental investors.
A Goldman Sachs study has identified five key opportunities for companies in the clean tech sector:
- Soil remediation;
- Solid and hazardous waste management;
- Wastewater treatment;
- Clean energy
- Pollution monitoring equipment.
[Photo credit: genascihk.com]