Mandelson signs climate trade deals with China

Business secretary Lord Mandelson has announced a series of deals with China which he claims will benefit businesses and help China meets its environmental targets.

As part of a trip to Beijing organised by UK Trade and Investment this week, Mandelson said the UK was well placed to help China to decarbonise its economy.

"The UK has world-class climate change research institutions and consultancy services in carbon measurement and management. Our architects and engineers are creating designs for the low-carbon cities of the future," he said.

The government has announced a series of deals off the back of Lord Mandelson's visit to China, including a £10m joint venture between the UK's Carbon Trust and China Energy Conservation Investment Corporation (CECIC) for the creation of a "foreign-invested venture capital enterprise", introducing low-carbon technology companies from the UK to China.

A memorandum of understanding was also signed between glass maker Pilkington Group Limited and Shanghai Yaohua Pilkington for the production of energy-saving glass which the companies claim could save up to 120,000 tonnes of C02 per year.

"Pilkington, Greens Power, Zed Factory and The Carbon Trust are examples of outstanding UK companies working with advanced and low-carbon technology. These new contracts not only demonstrate the strength of economic ties between the UK China, but also our shared commitment for developing a low-carbon economy," said Mandelson.

Other deals included agreements between Himim, the largest solar thermal manufacturer in China, and UK sustainable building specialist ZED Factory, as well as Greens Energy Environmental (Baicheng) Ltd and Xing Jiang International Coal Coking Co to build and operate a waste-heat power-generation project.

Earlier this week, US-based First Solar, one of the world's biggest makers of thin-film solar modules, said it will build a 2GW solar power plant in China's Inner Mongolia region.

Its deal with the Chinese government marks the first major foray into the Chinese market by a US solar company and is one of the world's biggest planned PV plant projects to date.

In August, a major new report from The Climate Group argued that China has already secured a lead over many of its global rivals in the race to develop and implement low-carbon technologies.

The report concluded that despite the onset of the global recession, Chinese clean tech firms continue to record impressive growth, aided in no small part by the government's decision to focus much of its $585bn (£354bn) stimulus package on low-carbon projects.

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