( AFP ) - China is poised to become a global leader in renewable energy in the next few years, the head of environmental research group Worldwatch said Wednesday.
"I think China will be number one in less than three years in every renewable energy market in the world," Worldwatch president Chris Flavin told reporters at the launch of the annual "State of the World" report.
In its 25th "State of the World" report, Worldwatch hails a wave of innovation that is helping to create a sustainable global economy.
"I am becoming increasingly confident in the case of China in particular that there is going to be an ability to make the transition to being at the forefront of innovation", despite contradictory forces at play in the world's most populous nation, Flavin said after the report was presented.
"On the one hand, China is close to passing the US as the world's biggest producer of carbon dioxide, and at the same time it is becoming an innovator" in the field of renewable energy.
China is both the leading manufacturer of many new-energy products, including the low-energy lightbulbs that US consumers will be using in future, and has shown "leadership in renewable energy resulting from government policies," said Flavin.
"A major new renewable energy law came into force (in China) at the beginning of 2006. Here we sit two years later and the results of that are already becoming clear," he said.
"Although there are some great success stories in Europe in terms of renewable energy, I don't think anyone can compare with China in terms of the speed with which new markets have been created and in the comprehensiveness and effectiveness of new laws."
The 25th "State of the World" report warns that the planet is faced with "substantial environmental challenges" but says the environmental rot can be reversed and a sustainable economy created by redoubling the "extraordinary pace and scale of environmental innovation" of recent years.