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China's lead in green tech reflects political will, social consensus

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BEIJING, July 24 (Xinhua)-- A series of recent international reports have reconfirmed China's impressive progress in clean technology and its lead in global green development, which once again demonstrates China's strong political will and social consensus for sustainable development.

China is now the main contributor to a 24-percent rise in new global investment in clean energy in the second quarter this year, with large Chinese solar and wind projects raising 18.3 billion U.S. dollars in finance, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance in a report released earlier this month.

The picture is affirmed by the International Energy Agency, which has predicted China will overtake Europe as the world's top renewable energy growth market this year.

The fundamental dynamics behind this growth, according to Samantha Smith, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)'s global climate and energy policy leader, is political will, which "separates winners from losers in the clean economy of the future."

The world's energy experts agree political decisiveness is key to the success of green development, a sector that requires sustained and considerable investment but may not bring about immediate economic returns any time soon.

Such decisiveness is evident in China's case. The country has elevated environmental protection to its national will and included it in the country's development blueprint for next five years.

On Monday, Chinese President Hu Jintao vowed to "boost green, recycling and low-carbon development" at a high-level meeting.

Moreover, the Chinese government's firm grip on macroeconomic development also helps secure financial support for implementing environmentally friendly policies.

"The government invested, and now the winners are getting the sales, jobs and technology," Smith said.

The Chinese government's green initiatives have been embraced by the public. Atlantic Monthly, a U.S. journal, noticed the re-emergence of old bike-riding habits in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, where locals enjoy the world's largest public bicycle network, a symbol of "green transformation" in China.

The Wall Street Journal also pointed out recently that environmental awareness among residents has extended from China's prosperous eastern coast to the less developed inland.

What China has done in its green development has also gradually won acknowledgement from Western countries, which used to be skeptics.

China's green efforts will not only reduce the burden on the increasingly populous Earth, but will also play a constructive role in the recovery of the world economy.

Countries that gain a strong foundation in clean tech, a sector the WWF report hopes will one day rival the oil and gas market, may have the best prospects of capitalizing on the expected strong growth in the future, say experts. There is every reason to believe this is what happening in China.

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