WELCOME TO Electric Island! The people of Hainan are set to be among the world leaders in fighting climate change, with a total ban on government purchases of petrol cars by 2025 and public purchases of petrol cars by 2030.[Scroll down to read a text version of this report, or see a video version directly below.]
In the rich world, most countries have not set a date or are discussing dates around 2035.
The UK is slightly ahead of most Europeans, planning to prevent the sale of petrol cars by 2030 and hybrids by 2035.
The Hainan community is not small, more populous than New Zealand and Ireland put together.
And it is part of a developing country. So how can it leap ahead of the rich world?
The answer is that the Chinese don’t focus on militarization or overseas adventuring – they focus on raising living standards for the people.
And they do take climate change seriously. United States climate envoy John Kerry this week praised China’s efforts at tackling global warming and said that China had “generally speaking, outperformed its commitments . . . They had said they will do X, Y and Zee and they have done more.” That’s what he told the Financial Times.
He added: “China is the largest producer of renewables in the world. They happen to also be the largest deployer of renewables in the world.”
And you know what? That’s what all governments need to do. They say that one of the best ways to unite people is to get them to focus on a common enemy. Climate change, that’s our common enemy.