Handbook on Green Growth
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Handbook on Green Growth

Edited by Roger Fouquet

Economies around the world have arrived at a critical juncture: to continue to grow fuelled by fossil fuels and exacerbate climate change, or to move towards more sustainable, greener, growth. Choosing the latter is shown to help address climate change, as well as present new economic opportunities. This Handbook provides a deeper understanding of the concept of green growth, and highlights key lessons from the experience of green transformations across the world following a decade of ambitious stimulus packages and green reforms.
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Chapter 14: The green growth economy as an engine of development: the case of China

John A. Mathews

Abstract

Is green growth feasible and possible – or does it remain a contradiction, an impossibly ambitious or (worse) a delusionary goal? If viewed solely from the perspective of the advanced countries, it might indeed seem contradictory. But when considered as a serious goal for an industrializing country, it proves to be an attractive option that delivers economic growth (and with it, rising prosperity) without subjecting the country to the environmental and geopolitical costs associated with black (fossil-fuelled) growth. The case of China is exemplary in demonstrating this, because (1) China is embarked on the biggest industrialization ever before witnessed; (2) China is being forced by circumstance to find an alternative to black (coal-driven) industrialization; and (3) China’s model – best described as one of strategic pursuit of green growth – is delivering economic benefits while also promising to restrain and eventually reduce carbon emissions.

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