China Overtakes U.S. as World Leader in Clean Energy


When one thinks of China, more often than not images of overpopulation and pollution—particularly smog-filled, crowded cities — come to mind. Other environmental concerns that China currently faces include toxic metal dumps, ocean reef collapse and more. Coupled with overpopulation, China has turned towards clean energy to help lessen the blow dealt by the previously mentioned concerns.

But what is clean energy? Clean energy is energy produced from renewable resources in a way that does not damage the environment. Examples include solar and wind power.

In a study carried out by Pew Charitable Trusts, it was discovered that, in 2012, China was the world leader in clean energy investment. The United States saw a decline in clean energy investments and technologies that year.

The Pew study examines these sort of questions. For instance, in 2012 there was a global investment in clean energy tallying in at $269 billion! While that was a decrease from the previous year’s total of $302 billion, investment in clean energy spiked in Asian markets by 16 percent, totaling an impressive $101 billion. China’s cut totaled $65.1 billion! Of that, $31.2 billion was invested in solar power, while the other $27.2 billion was invested in wind power. The Pew study proves that the leading country investing in clean energy has shifted from the United States and Europe, to Asia–with China at the very top!

Unfortunately, the United States is a different story. In 2012, clean energy investments in the U.S. declined a staggering 37 percent from 2011. Total investment was $35.6 billion. Why the under-performance in clean energy investment? The answer is simple: “free trade.”

Our poor economy, damaged because of “free trade,” is limiting U.S. progress in clean energy. Three other reasons why U.S. investments in clean energy are declining include, according to an article by Derek Mead, China Took the Clean Energy Lead in 2012, and Will Likely Stay There:

  • China’s economic boom
  • The U.S. regulatory environment for clean energy is unstable due to political battles over budget rhetoric
  • U.S. failure to capitalize on innovation and resuscitate the manufacturing industry

If our politicians continue to selfishly squabble amongst each other instead of addressing the economic concerns facing our country because of our damaging “free trade” agreements, the United States will continue to fall further and further behind the rest of the world in terms of clean energy and other beneficial technological innovations. Send this article to your congressional representative and to ten of your friends and have them do the same. Something must be done to restore America’s economic greatness!

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