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May 20, 2020

In this episode, Dr. Yongping Zhai, the Chief of Asian Development Bank’s Energy Sector Group, shares his insights into China’s pro-renewable energy and pro-climate change policy shift. 

Today, China leads the global renewable energy revolution. Yongping explains, how the pollution level during the Beijing Olympic triggered a shift in the mindset of people, enabling them to see the clear link between use of fossil fuels and high level of PMT2.5 in the air. People understood the role coal had played in delivering economic growth but at the same time understood the need for alternative options to make economic growth sustainable.

Yongping discusses the adoption of electric vehicles and electric buses in China: he explains how in his lifetime, China shifted from a kingdom of bicycles to a car country like others. He argues with examples that a change of mindset is a pre-requisite before adopting a technology based solution.

The COVIT-19 pandemic has shown that things can change if we are willingness to change, and the pandemic will leave us with a message that our society of today has to change and we have to treat climate crisis with the same sense of urgency as we all did for the pandemic.

Yongping also explains his reasoning behind the record low solar prices in the Middle East, which may be difficult to achieve in other parts of the world.

To listen to many other insights to today’s energy challenges, please join me in this episode of Energypreneurs

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