A March 14 New York Times article by Jim Yardley outlines how China's growing energy needs threaten its environment.
The economic boom is straining energy resources. According to the article, “Last year its oil imports rose by a third, it became the world's largest steel importer (surpassing the U.S.), its domestic coal production rose by 100 million tons and still there were intermittent blackouts as electricity consumption jumped by 15 percent. With energy needs expected to more than double by 2020, the ruling Communist Party has plans to build more than 100 coal, hydroelectric, and nuclear power plants.”
Though China has made conservation efforts and has fuel-efficiency standards more strict than in the U.S., there are concerns that the growing energy needs will harm the environment. Zhang Jianyu of the Beijing office of Environmental Defense says “The fundamental problem is that China is following the path of the United States, and probably the world cannot afford a second United States,”
So what can we do?
The obvious opportunity this problem presents is for investing in Chinese environmental solutions. Believe it or not there are several Chinese Environmental mutual funds.
The China Environment Fund for example invests in enterprises in the PRC's environmental service sector, selecting those with strong growth potential and which involve the private sector.
Learn more at http://www.adb.org/Documents/News/2002/nr2002201.asp
Details on the New Ventures China Fund which also invests in shares pertaining to China’s environment are at http://www.socialfunds.com/news/article.cgi/article952.html
Until next message, good investing!