The Chinese greentech sector represents a real window of opportunity for European small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The green industry in China is growing year on year, seeking to produce environment-friendly products which should benefit the natural environment by adopting clean production technology and using harmless or less harmful new techniques, energy resources, and technology.
The term “greentech” can be broadly defined as “technology that has the potential to significantly improve environmental performance relative to other technology”. Under the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development Agenda 21, the term “environmental technology” is defined as a specific set of technologies meant to “protect the environment, (be) less polluting, use all resources in a more sustainable manner, recycle more of their wastes and products, and handle residual wastes in a more acceptable manner than the technologies for which they were substituted”.
As a consequence of huge economic developments, the Chinese environment has been seriously affected. As a result, many laws and regulations have been approved in an attempt to remedy this ongoing disaster. The most important of these include the “Law on Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Pollution”, the “Environmental Impact Assessment Law”, the “Cleaner Production Promotion Law”, the “Renewable Energy Law”, the “Energy Conservation Law”, the “Water Pollution Control Law”, the “Circular Economy Promotion Law”, and the “Vehicles and Ships Tax Law”.
The central government is nevertheless aware that we are still in the initial stages of a much longer and more difficult process. Consequently, China has shown great interest in the greentech market and the introduction of the best technologies to different greentech sectors. Areas of particular interest include: wind, solar, bio-energy, wastewater, and green building.
Renewable energy and cleantech industries are seen by the country's leaders as future pillars of the Chinese industrial economy. It will hence be up to European SMEs to find the right way to tackle such a large and complex market.