Experts highlight the role of green investment in boosting the economy

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China Energy Corp employees inspect a wind farm in Tianjin on April 13. [Photo/Xinhua]

Investment in the green and low-carbon sector will become a growing driving force for China’s economy, and it is inaccurate to believe that the country’s efforts in pollution control and carbon reduction will have an impact. negative on its economic development, according to economists and industry experts.

China’s transition to green and low-carbon fuels will see steady progress, and patience is needed to balance the development of new, clean energy and the phasing out of coal, they said at a meeting. a recent forum on China’s energy development jointly organized by China News Service and the Energy Foundation China, or EFC.

“China is embracing a profound industrial revolution characterized by that of energy science and technology, which determines that the nation should properly manage the relationship between the goals and objectives of various policies on economic growth, energy security, protection environment and climate stability,” said Zou Ji, CEO and Chairman of EFC.

“These policy objectives and goals can be well coordinated, and it is especially important to coordinate short-term goals with medium- and long-term goals,” he said.

Zou said as China makes economic stability a top priority and continues to make progress while ensuring stability, investment in wind and solar energy will continue to grow and fuel overall economic growth.

During the period of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), total investment will reach nearly 45 trillion yuan ($6.87 trillion) in the areas of digital upgrading and green transformation of traditional industries, green and low-carbon urbanization and building modern cities. , green and low-carbon consumption, and the modernization of electrical systems, according to a report by the foundation.

Investment in these areas will be about 8.9 trillion yuan a year during the period, Zou said, adding that it will add significant momentum to the growth of total investment. In 2021, China’s fixed asset investment was about 55 trillion yuan, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

“By 2050, direct investment in carbon neutrality will be at least 140 trillion yuan in China, with a much larger size of non-direct investment in related fields. This investment will give remarkable impetus to the economic growth over the next 30 to 40 years,” he said.

Li Junfeng, Partner of Sequoia China and President of the Sequoia Institute for Carbon Neutrality, said the fundamental nature of carbon neutrality propels the transition of development towards greener and better paths, and among these, the energy transition. is very important.

However, the energy transition, which is expected to provide ample investment opportunities to fuel economic expansion, needs to address various tasks and challenges to make steady progress, analysts said.

According to Li, the priority is to control fossil fuel consumption rather than global energy consumption. It is advisable to make non-fossil fuels the main source of increase in energy consumption and the only source of increase in power generation during the period of the 14th FYP, he said.

He suggested that the nation control the use of coal so that record coal consumption in 2013 (about 4.2 billion metric tons) remains the peak while overseeing coal-fired power generation to ensure that new energy gradually become the main source of energy in China.

Li also said the growth of non-fossil power capacity should be well planned, especially that of wind and solar power, so that the power grid can gradually get used to the transition.

Zou, with the EFC, said that as non-fossil power generation technologies continue to improve their maturity and reduce costs, non-fossil power will steadily account for an increasing share of power generation. electricity in China and that of coal will gradually decline so that new energy replaces coal in China’s power generation system as much as possible. The process will take time but will show notable progress every five years, he said.

According to Wang Hanfeng, chief strategist and managing director of China International Capital Corp, China has a huge demand for green investments, especially in sectors such as power, transport and construction, and the nation is paying close attention. green finance, including more detailed environmental investments. , social and governance.

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