UNSW School of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering
Renewables, energy security, China and the greening of capitalism
John Mathews - Macquarie University


John Mathews, at UNSW SPREE, 16 October 2014

John Mathews (55Min)

Macquarie University

John Mathews speaks at UNSW

Abstract

As China, India, and other industrialising giants grow, they are confronted with an inconvenient truth: they cannot rely on the operating principles of industrial capitalism (fossil-fuelled energy systems, resource throughput rather than circularity, generic finance) as we know them today. By necessity, a new approach to environmentally conscious development is needed, and is already emerging in the East, with China leading the way. As opposed to western zero-growth advocates and free-market environmentalists, it can be argued that a more sustainable capitalism is being developed - as counterpart to the all-too obvious black developmental model based on coal. China has developed the world's largest renewable power system, as counterpart to its vast fossil-fuelled system, and since all renewables devices are products of manufacturing, it can be argued that China is primarily enhancing its energy security through pursuing such a strategy. This is an argument framed as an economic imperative for China, rather than as a moral imperative for the West. And it is a convenient truth that as China enhances its energy security through renewables, so it reduces its carbon emissions

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Brief Bio

John Mathews received his MSc in Control Systems and PhD in cybernetics from Imperial College, London. In 1990 he joined UNSW and in 1998 transferred to MGSM, Macquarie University, taking a chair in strategic management in 2002. From 2009 to 2012 he was Inaugural Eni Chair of Competitive Dynamics and Global Strategy at LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome. His research has focused on the competitive and technological dynamics of the rise of new industrial powers in East Asia, publishing several books and over 100 refereed papers. For the past several years his interest has been in the dynamics of greening of the global economy, with particular reference to China. His next book Greening of Capitalism: How Asia is Driving the Next Great Transformation, is to be published by Stanford University Press in November 2014.


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