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It is not uncommon to hear China cast as a villain in the story of climate change. That nation is the world’s No. 2 emitter of greenhouse gasses and is on track eventually to pass the United States as No. 1. What’s more, China is exempt from the greenhouse gas emissions reductions of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, a fact cited by critics as a key problem with the agreement.
But some observers think China is mending its ways. In fact, some say China is moving more aggressively on energy efficiency and other green technologies than the United States. One example: a goal to cut in half energy used by buildings.
Thomas L. Friedman, a foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times, thinks the United States may be importing green technology from China within a decade. He recently noted China plans sharp cuts in energy use per unit of gross domestic product by 2010.
What might this mean for facility executives in the United States? If China can make progress on its greenhouse gas emissions, that would be one more reason for the United States to start making its own cuts in emissions, especially carbon dioxide. It’s also one more justification for believing energy efficiency will be an increasing priority for facility executives in years to come.
A quick plug for a program you might be interested in: The Web-based Master Facility Executive Certificate series, developed by Building Operating Management and BOMI Institute, gets under way Jan. 24.