16 June 2007

Global Climate Change: China Reducing Emissions, Investing in Alternatives

China and India are growing as greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters. Indeed, China may soon overtake the U.S. as the world's biggest source of greenhouse gases. Two-thirds of China's power comes from coal, which releases the most CO2 of any fossil fuel.

So, China's government is under pressure to reduce its emissions. Wan Gang, the country's science and technology minister, was critical of the recent Group of 8 pronouncement, which he said failed to resolve the question of burden associated with cutting greenhouse gases.

According to people familiar with the situation, Mr. Wan claims that his government has dedicated 4.6 billion yuan (US$602.7 million) to research since early last year, compared with 2.5 billion yuan for the previous five years. The Chinese have invested more than 7.1 billion yuan (about US$930 million) in technology innovations to deal with climate change since 2001.

Mr. Wan implied that this is just the beginning. "China is determined to find answers to climate change through science and technology," he said.

One such innovation is the China High-Speed Transmission Equipment Group, the nation's largest maker of gears for windmills. They are seeking as much as 2.12 billion Hong Kong dollars in an initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the sale.

The company plans to sell 300 million new shares, a 25 percent stake, in Hong Kong at 5.38 dollars to 7.08 dollars apiece, according to an article on the situation. At the higher valuation, the sale would reap US$271 million.

China Energy Conservation Investment Corporation, a state-run company that is building a 200-megawatt wind farm, also plans an IPO. The government plans to expand installed wind power capacity to 5,000 megawatts by 2010 from 1,000 megawatts at the end of 2005.

Yingli Green Energy Holding, a Chinese maker of solar-power models, last month raised $319 million in a U.S. IPO, joining local rivals including LDK Solar in selling stock this year.

China is learning to quickly turn global warming concerns into investment opportunities.

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