The Green China; Hindrance and Limitations of the Green Transition


By 2028, China will surpass The United States as the world’s leading economy in terms of GDP, according to major economic experts and forums. This great transition will disrupt the whole Western monopoly maintained since the arrival of colonial rule in Asia, where the exploitation of natural resources, human labor and uneven markets paved the way for The European dream. Through the adoption of market Leninism, the term was coined in 1993. During 2000-2020 The Consumer Price Index of China remained at 2.3%, where the housing price inflation rate hit 8.3%, Stock market returns were 11%, while mutual fund returns were 17%.

These figures give a glimpse of the unprecedented economic growth China has witnessed. Nevertheless, in the realm of climate, China is recorded as the largest carbon emissions producer, which is quite concerning, consuming 26% of the global energy to sustain its Nation. However, when we scrutinize the numbers, two majors’ biases we face;

Per capita energy consumption

China’s Per capita electricity consumption is 5,331-kilowatt hours, according to Statista, which is significantly lower compared to the United States, which is around 3800 kWh per capita; when we offset it in accordance with the population, it surges four times itself, three times over China. The per capita energy consumption is one of the indicators that helps measure a country’s development as the theory states that the great the supply is, the lower the price will be; in terms of energy, as it will become affordable, it will attract the major investments allowing corporates to build factories, which eventually produce employment opportunities in that region. This will act like a double engine growth paradigm where the key to prosperity lies in energy production and reasonable distribution. 


Energy consumption plays a critical role in the development of any nation to sustain its growth through industrialization. Energy consumption plays a critical role in the development of any nation to boost the industries, produce jobs, and increase connectivity through modernization; even for the basic needs, it requires energy. For the production of energy, the common instruments that are accommodated are the fossil fuel that contributed to the growth of China. China, since 1990 quadrupled from 1.06 billion million metric tons of coal to 4.02 billion metric tons to boost the second revolution, “Open Market,” launched under Deng Xiaoping. According to the CSIS, China’s energy production made up 56.8 percent of coal alone.  

The emissions transfers are where one Nation is outsourcing its carbon emission by shifting other nations’ industries for their goods. The colonies’ human resources were exploited during imperialism to produce the imperial state’s goods. The emission transfer accommodates two facets, Emission production elucidates how much one Nation contributes to the emissions of carbon and the consumption emission emitted when we consume the goods and services, we purchase every day within that country.  

Through Globalization, outsourcing critical components and industries became a norm as it not only saved billions of dollars simultaneously for the underdeveloped nations it was providing an opportunity for jobs. 

Towards the Green land

The Nation of 1.4 billion people, China, pledged in 2020 that it would peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and pave the way for carbon neutrality by 2060. This is a 40 years master plan if China leaves us a grandiose vision for the future, as China already has a monopoly over solar panels and access to fresh waters and high streams, enabling China to diversify the energy production with elegance without much hindrance. 

In 2019, renewables accounted for nearly 15 percent of China’s energy mix, compared to 7 percent a decade earlier; by 2030, China’s total renewable energy will reach 25% of the total energy production; this will be done through the installation of solar power grids and wind power generation constituting 1.2 billion kilowatts of energy by 2030. This will assist China in entering the new phase transition in the post-carbon emissions peak. 

What are the limitations of the Green economy? 

Non sustainable 

The present crisis that erupted in Europe due to the Russian-Ukraine war exposed the vulnerability of the green transition as in the sudden absence of fossil fuels; the Western Economy will take the harder hit. This unprecedented situation made the EU revert to using fossil fuels to offset the impact of the natural gas blockade imposed by the EU. According to the data in 2019, 71 percent of the European continent’s energy requirements are filled through fossil fuels, 82 percent in the 1990s. This slow transition towards the green economy makes it Non sustainable in the moments of the sudden shift towards one to another as a mammoth percentage of energy production still relies on burning fossil fuels.

Energy Storage Capacity

Despite the enormous growth in technology and green energy, one key hindrance lies in front of the world, and that is the storage of energy. Several other energies are dependent on geological realities, such as wind energy, hydro energy and nuclear energy, which are the prominent choices for replacing fossil fuels. It also accommodates the fact that some energies produce externalities, including environmental degradation, and radiation, along with high maintenance costs. These factors are critical for the evaluation of a more resilient and effective policy for the transition toward a green economy. 

Educated and skilled youth

The economy word correlated Industries in the modern era, where Globalization reduced the state status quo, and a surge of MNCs has taken place. The green transition needs a skilled and educated labor market in order to cope with the transitional change that is going on. For this, a public-private partnership is critical that could effectively incentives the learning of the required skills. The green transition will eliminate millions of jobs in the fossil fuel arena, which could lead to catastrophic if not equivalent or multifold jobs produced by the green economy transition. However, despite the positive claims by the analyst on the green economy job growth, we must use a multidisciplinary approach to review the actuality of the issue; as technology and AI is on the rise, 800 million jobs will disappear, reported to the World Economic Forum, in that case, scenario if the national policy on green transition does not cope with the realities, it will bring devastation. In Sri Lanka in 2021 radically shifted towards organic farming, which caused a severe food shortage that accelerated the crisis in Sri Lanka.

The Western chauvinist Policy

The exclusive policy aimed at slowing down the progress of developing nations

As we have discussed the outsourcing bias in the Western Hemisphere when we deliberate on climate change, we fail to accommodate this facet where the advanced industrialized countries, to a major extent, exploited the fossil fuels that secured modern-day prosperity. Harsh restriction on using fossil fuels as an energy source will be detrimental for the developing nations, which is recording uneven growth within and outside their boundaries. This includes at the domestic level, the tussle between Rural and Urban areas development that report an uneven growth in rural and urban areas could not cope with the same parameters under green taxation. 

The three facets we need to discuss first are the rate of industrialization in the region, Power consumption and source of power generation; third is the job growth percentage. These three pillars will give a real picture of the uneven growth. The rate of industrialization directly correlated with the general trend reporting the incoming or departure of the companies from that particular region. Suppose the growth of industrialization is not paced at high speed. In that case, it will create a gap between the urban and rural economies that further the job shrinks and loss in the rural areas as the opportunities will not hold that many incentives for the private firms to establish their companies.

The second aspect is the region’s dependence on fuel consumption; this is a major player in the policy development, especially concerning the green taxation legislation. Suppose the government imposes any arbitrary taxation based on the urbanized region data. In that case, it will further hamper the existing industries in the rural areas that are already struggling to make the required profit to sustain. 

Global impact

The impact of environmental taxes is to increase the cost of polluting. and as a result, discourage their production and consumption – this can hurt jobs if the tax leads to a firm decreasing production green legislation in any nation will eventually lead toward w global industries shift to more climate lenient nations outsourcing the jobs or leading to permanent job loss in the Nation as, during the NAFTA, 72 percent of the total manufacturing jobs in the United States shifted to Mexico as the incentives were too lucrative for the private firms. If these phenomena replicate themselves in the developed nations, it will accelerate the outsourcing and permanent shift of operational bases to more climate-neutral countries.

Harjeet Singh
Harjeet Singh
Harjeet Singh is a student of the University of Delhi pursuing a bachelor's in political science honors, his heterodox approaches to international studies and research that has received considerable international acknowledgement.


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