Monkey! Be good & disrupt
by China Water Risk 4 February, 2016
Here we go, swinging into the year of the Monkey. If you thought 2015 was “happening” for water and the environment, brace yourself, Monkey by nature brings with it more energy, innovations and disruptions than the surefooted goat. In a year of wild swings, check out our top 5 trends in water in 2016 for it is better to be in a position to disrupt than be disrupted. China’s prime minister, says “employment, income-levels and the environment are all high on our list of priorities”. The No. 1 Document released last week echoed this sentiment focusing on new development concepts and modern agriculture in beating a path to a “well-off society”. Holding the Three Red Lines on water was also specifically spelled out and the need for endangered wildlife conservation was mentioned for the first time. To show it’s serious, China will “kill a chicken to warn the monkey”. No more monkey business and harsher punishments mean that businesses in China will look for new ways to be green and prosper. We delve into this and also take a closer look at the imminent resource shuffle as China negotiates the winding road towards food security. With China’s farmlands, twice the size of France threatened by urbanisation and pollution, can China find more food in a changing climate? In search of more resources, Chinese companies are also being encouraged to ‘go out’. Some already have; China is the world’s #1 dam builder. So how do Chinese hydro companies fare? International Rivers’ Stephanie Jensen-Cormer shares their study which benchmarked the overseas performance of seven Chinese dam building companies. The resource rush is not specific to China and so it is best to have an international approach to water stewardship. Alliance for Water Stewardship’s Zhenzhen Xu, Ma Xi and Michael Spencer introduce the alliance’s first ever international standard and share lessons learned from Ecolab’s China pilot which pioneered its use in the chemical sector. Monkey heralds the start of China’s 13th Five Year Plan and in this march towards a “well-off society”, 5 key words for the year are ‘innovation’, ‘harmony’, ‘green’, ‘open’ and ‘share’. In this regard, we think China’s push for renewables could be bigger than you think but is this aggressive surge enough to address issues at the heart of China’s climate-energy nexus? Read on…But beware … big is not always better and it’s not just tech innovations that can disrupt; policy decisions are also disruptive across multiple industries. So in the year of the Monkey, avoid monkey-see, monkey-do: think disruptive but think comprehensive; be green and prosper. Happy Lunar New Year!
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