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AP: Suntech CEO says G20 to act on 'green growth'

AP: Suntech CEO says G20 to act on 'green growth'

This year's Group of 20 summit will be asked to adopt national action plans and set up a public-private financing arm to boost investments in renewable energy and tackle climate change, the head of the G-20 advisory panel for "green growth" told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Shi Zhengrong, the CEO of Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., said the G-20 advisory panel expects to issue a set of recommendations about five weeks from now on how world leaders can shift to solar, wind and other alternative energy sources _ even in dire financial times.
"At the moment there's a lot of talk about green growth, there are some actions _ but not enough," Shi emphasized in an AP interview at the World Economic Forum's Geneva headquarters, where CEOs of major companies and former world leaders were gathered privately to discuss plans for the G-20 summit, which will be held in Cannes, France, on Nov. 3-4.
"There are a lot of barriers as well, such as traditional economies which lobby against green growth," he said. And politicians and governments are shortsighted, he said, because it's only "when the economy is good, they all say they're for 'green growth, green growth.' "
Shi, whose China-based company is the world's biggest solar panel maker, said Germany and Switzerland, which announced plans to phase out nuclear power, could replace about 30 to 50 percent of that energy with solar and wind sources, "if they install enough capacity."
Shi also is a member of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's task force on energy and climate.
Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told others at the Geneva meeting Thursday that China should open up its markets as it tries to take the lead on alternative energy technology, attendees said.
China has overtaken the United States as the largest emitter of carbon dioxide and other gases from fossil fuel-burning that scientists blame for the rise in Earth's temperature, though on a per-capita basis its output is much smaller. Sulfur pollution from China's massive coal-burning, which doubled between 2003 and 2007, also is having a huge impact on the nation's environment and its citizens' health that has prompted the government to invest heavily in solar and wind power.
"What we discussed today should protect the environment, provide sustainability and save resources," Shi said, adding that even so-called "clean coal" technologies could be used, if they are proven years from now.
Overall, global temperatures have been climbing more than a century since the industrial revolution added gases like carbon dioxide to the air. Atmospheric scientists and environmentalists are concerned that continued rising temperatures could add to drought in some areas, change storm patterns, spread tropical diseases and raise sea levels.
But while the U.S. government remains deadlocked over climate legislation, China is years ahead in terms of investment in so-called green technologies. This year Suntech has said it expects to ship at least 2.2 gigawatts of solar products and post sales of $3.2 billion to $3.4 billion.
"I don't think the U.S. will easily give up," Shi said of American industry's competitiveness. "But in the past five years, China really accelerated."
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Updated : 2021-10-20 12:45 GMT+08:00