China could be a major world player in green technology, with a market for environmentally sustainable technologies worth $500 billion to $1 trillion annually, according to a new report.

The China Greentech Initiative – made up of a group of more than 80 leading technology companies, services firms, entrepreneurs, investors, NGOs, and policy advisers – studied several hundred green tech options for China as its economy develops further. Adopting 125 specific green tech solutions, both existing and emerging, could change the way in which China generates energy, uses water and builds its cities, and also change the country’s transportation and industry, the report found.

But support by China’s government will be critical. “The private sector has a key role to play in delivering the required investment at the scale required to avoid dangerous climate change,” Richard Gledhill, global leader of Climate Change & Carbon Market Services in London for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, told the Associated Press. “But it will only do this if there is a clear, long-term policy framework to underpin prospects of a reasonable return.”

PriceWaterhouseCoopers helped lead the research.

China will have to work fast if it hopes to contain its output of atmospheric CO2, the AP report said. About 18 million people move from rural areas to cities every year, and by 2050 China will have more than 200 cities with populations exceeding 1 million people. Those population centers will face tremendous demands on energy and water consumption and building materials.

Another study, published September 11 in the journal Science, examined “Potential for Wind-Generated Electricity in China.”

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