Europe stands still in clean-tech race as China storms forward

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In the face of China’s latest commitment to renewables, the EU is being urged to “act decisively” to stay ahead in the clean-energy race and cash in on its benefits. The warning comes as heads of state and government reaffirm their commitment to swiftly ratify the Paris Agreement and implement their pledges under the deal. But as China’s latest Five-Year plan reaffirms its commitment to cut CO2 intensity and boost renewables, Europe “risks losing its hard won leadership” by “refusing to increase their climate targets”. The huge benefits of renewables are more apparent than ever reports suggest clean energy is the easiest way to “reach the Paris Agreement”. As support for tougher EU targets grows, the pressure is now on leaders to “strengthen its climate targets and accelerate investment in clean infrastructure” in line with the Paris Agreement’s aim for a zero-emission future.

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  • “Twenty years ago Europeans were still teaching China how to draft environmental laws. Ten years ago Europe saw China just as a market for its green exports. Today, China is on the verge of dominating the global clean energy economy. The EU must act decisively to stay in the race.” – Nick Mabey, CEO of climate change think tank E3G
  • “Europe risks losing its hard won leadership in the clean tech markets just as they begin to really take off after Paris. The EU must strengthen its climate targets, accelerate investment in clean infrastructure and deepen structural reforms to give its companies the platform to compete globally.” – Jonathan Gaventa, a Director at E3G
  • “Europe seriously risks becoming a laggard on climate action. In 2015 China expanded renewable energy use like never before, while investments in renewables decreased in the EU. China’s willingness to act on climate with more ambitions stands in stark contrast to European leaders refusing to increase their climate targets.” – Bram Claeys, Political Advisor at the Greenpeace EU Unit

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