China’s Pollution an ‘Environmental Emergency,’ Creating Opportunities

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — China’s environmental disaster – its pollution – is also an opportunity for solar energy companies and those who want to invest in them, said Mark Clifford, the author of The Greening of Asia.

What’s happening in Asia in general and China in particular is not all that different from the heavy pollution in the U.S. 40 to 50 years ago. Now air and water in the U.S. are much cleaner because the government and citizens made it a priority.

Now it’s China’s turn, he said. More than one million people died in China prematurely last year because of the air pollution.

China is in a state of “environmental emergency” and its leaders know that, Clifford said. Last year alone, China spent $89 billion on clean technologies, nearly double what the U.S. spent in 2014.

These anti-pollution efforts are creating a plethora of jobs, Clifford explained. For instance, new buildings are going up that are more energy efficient. He said China has a long-term goal to have 20% of its energy generated from renewable resources — such as solar — by 2030.

That’s a great opportunity for businesses and an excellent opportunity for investors in Chinese solar stocks, although he acknowledged the industry trades with an incredibly high amount of volatility.

Originally published in TheStreet. Video interview can be accessed here.