China, India Seen Setting Stage For Environment-Friendly World

Energy guzzlers China and India are often blamed for some of the world's environmental problems, but a new study says the two most populous nations may well set the stage for a clean and green Earth. The two countries are mastering energy-efficient technologies, implementing cheap and environmentally-responsible transportation systems and adopting new water harvesting techniques as models for a sustainable economy, says the annual report of the U.S.-based Worldwatch Institute.

"China and India are positioned to leapfrog today's industrial powers and become world leaders in sustainable energy and agriculture within a decade," says the president of the environmental research group, Christopher Flavin.

China's world leading solar industry already provides water heating for 35 million buildings. Zjeng Bijian, head of China Economic Reform, an academic group, called in the report for "a new path of industrialization based on technology, low consumption of resources, low environmental pollution and the optimal allocation of human resources."

China's ambitious renewable energy law enforced this month stands a good chance of jumpstarting windpower, biofuels, and other new energy options. It has already successfully pioneered the use of small wind turbines, hydro generators, and biogas plants for power generation in remote rural areas. China is world leader not only in solar hot water technology but also in producing super-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. It is also aiming for an bus rapid transit system that combines the speed of a subway with the affordability of a bus.

India recently built the world's fourth largest wind power industry and the largest among developing economies. It wants to increase renewable energy's share of its power from five percent to 20%-25%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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