Follow Here To Purchase The Greening of Asia: The Business Case for Solving Asia's Environmental Emergency (Columbia Business School Publishing)

Author: Mark L. Clifford

Publisher: Columbia Business School Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-231-16608-9

Mark Clifford, author of The Greening of Asia, was previously a journalist and editor-in-chief for the South China Morning Post. (2015, inside back cover) Living in Hong Kong since 1992 he was also senior editor for BusinessWeek and Far Eastern Economic Review. Currently Clifford is executive director for the Hong Kong based Asia Business Council.

Clifford opens in his Introduction (2015) with “Beijing’s air is “crazy bad” according to the US Embassy; choking pollution regularly smothers the capital, reducing visability to near zero, grounding planes, snarling traffic, and forcing city dwellers to don protective face masks while outside.” For those of us who have not been to Asia, but do watch the world news reports from the comfort of clean air on our sofas this may seem outrageous. But, nonetheless true. Sadly.

Chapter 1 talks about Energy. (2015, p.13) Specifically, sun, wind, and coal. Mr. Clifford states that “A century ago coal powered the trains and ships that ushered in the modern age….coal is plentiful and cheap…Coal is also dangerous; it is the single largest cause of air pollution that prematurely kills more than 1.2 million people each year in China alone.” These statistics were alarming to me and ought to be to you too! Changing these dynamics for future generations lies in using less coal. (paraphrase, p.14) “Solar and wind power…are the two most dynamic and fast-changing sources of renewable energy.” (p.15)

Mark Clifford uses numerous real-life examples of how these new and emerging technologies have helped shape the direction of renewable energy. The sheer monetary numbers raised to support such technologies and organizations in China, both private and government subsidized, are overwhelming and enlightening. China has led the world with creation of low cost resources for renewable energy. “In 2012, PriceWaterhouse Coopers released a report that ranked solar makers by their overall importance and gave Chinese companies eight of ten top slots in the industry.” (2015, p.18) Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance Unit calculates that Chinese financial institutions had committed $47.5 Billion in lines of credit to the solar industry alone…”. (p.28)

Chapter 2 highlights wind. Clifford states that “Wind has become a serious part of te energy mix. In Denmark, wind accounted for more than 30% of the country’s electricity in 2012. (2015, p.44) Furthermore, “Wind produces 20 percent of Portugal’s electricity and 18% of Spains.” As early as the 1980’s Clifford said that China had begun including wind as an instrument for power generation. (paraphrase, p.45) I recall learning about wind that long ago, but America had not embraced that technology as readily as perhaps we should have. However, it is not too late to do so now.

Water is another resource that much of the world is short on or has, but is polluted beyond use. Manila Water is the stage setter for change according to Clifford. “ That Manila Water has managed to serve millions of customers while cutting prices is impressive, given the challenges associated with operating in the city.” (2015, p.146) “Manila’s Water serves more than 6 million residents in the capital.” (p.147) Manila water operates in the Philippines. Their business plan might serve as a template for other countries that are short on water or in need of cleaning the water that they do have.

I am a lover of green technologies and bettering the planet we all inhabit. I found this book interesting and educational and I think you will too! Read it to learn how we can all contribute to a greener, more sustainable, world.