Communist China: The Not-So-Jolly Green Giant

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Greentechmedia's "Top Ten Green Giants" list has some of the usual suspects -- General Electric, Dow Chemical, Siemens -- but at the top is an organization less well known for its corporate acumen: China's Communist Party.

The blog argues that China's one-party system and the state-owned status of many of its companies and banks "put the PRC in the category of a market participant." Plus, China is funneling its sovereign wealth fund into green energy companies that are marking their territory not just domestically but abroad. This massive investment has made China the leading producer of wind turbines and solar panels and has spurred its headway on nuclear reactors and carbon capture technology:

"Japanese companies established worldwide brands with cars and TVs. China will do the same with energy. Your next job might be with a Chinese conglomerate."

The rest of the list is populated by big-name corporations with the industrial infrastructure to cost-effectively shift to green products. GE gets a shout-out for wind and solar technology, Nissan for electric cars, Dow Chemical for solar panels and its new foray into desalination, and Wal-Mart for its recent push to clean up its supply chain.

Though Chevron scored with an honorable mention, BP -- who introduced the motto "Beyond Petroleum" in a sweeping greening effort ten years ago -- is noticeably absent from the list. The energy giant was forced to shut down its Maryland solar plant last month in order to pursue cheaper production costs. Perhaps China could offer an attractive deal?

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Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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