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Green Globe: In the economics of fighting climate change, China sees green

China is exerting more clout in the worldwide business of climate change mitigation, after a German government report reveals that the Asian powerhouse tripled its global export share of environmental goods from 2002 through 2015. Also the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, China exported about $71 billion in climate-friendly products in 2015, approximately 16% of the market, Bloomberg reported. Germany's share of worldwide climate mitigation exports fell to second place at $59 billion, while American exports were worth $52 billion.

SNL Image

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speak during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Dec. 4, 2017.

Source: Associated Press

China's export growth surge is among recent developments that underscore the economic and political stakes of meeting carbon emissions targets under the Paris Agreement on climate change. On Dec. 4, China's Premier Li Keqiang and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met to consider trade opportunities that incorporate climate mitigation, as well as examine opportunities in clean energy and energy efficiency.

China's push to become a leader in this space is also transforming its power sector; more than 360 GW of renewable energy capacity came online in China during 2016, making up about 40% of the world's new renewable capacity. China is also working with Denmark's government to crank up its offshore wind industry, which could bring Europe's biggest offshore wind companies and their investments into the country.

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, meanwhile, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan on possibly developing areas around the country's Taichung harbor for offshore wind. The agreement includes a site assessment for a possible manufacturing facility for offshore wind equipment, offices and staging areas, the company announced Dec. 6. Siemens Gamesa recently opened a new office in Taipei, and in 2016, it installed the country's first offshore wind power plant, an 8-MW demonstration project.

Like its counterpart on the Chinese mainland, the Taiwanese government is seeking out foreign companies' expertise in building out its offshore wind industry. Norway-based energy certification body and risk management group DNV GL AS recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan to work on offshore wind testing and certification. In October, the United Kingdom's Department for International Trade and business development group NOF Energy accompanied representatives from 24 British offshore wind companies to Taiwan.

Jordan and United Arab Emirates announced that the two countries will work together on a $220 million renewable energy project. Jordan News Agency, also known as PETRA, reported that the project is part of UAE's ongoing efforts to support Jordan's growing renewables sector.

Renewable energy sources account for less than 2% of Jordan's electricity generation, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. However, the Jordanian government is seeking to invest $18 billion in the energy sector by 2020.

Elsewhere

* In India, the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project's two units generated electricity to their full capacity of 1,000 MW each for the first time, First Post reports. Russia's atomic energy corporation Rosatom supplied equipment and expertise on the project.

* Australia's first offshore wind farm — an A$8 billion, 2,000-MW project — has secured financial backing from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

* Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.'s 21-MW Les Renardières wind facility in France is in commercial operation.

* Thailand's share of renewable energy could exceed 37% by 2036, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency.

As of Dec. 6, 2017, US$1 equals about A$1.32, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence's country economic data.

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