IT'S time that we took China and renewable energy seriously, and stopped using their past CO2 emissions as an excuse for avoiding renewables in the UK – we would do well to follow Peking’s example. Mind you we would probably have made the same decision if we had had to suffer such extreme flooding and dense urban smogs caused by the burning of coal.

They have one clear advantage over us in the developed western world as their form of political organisation, whether you approve of it or not, does allow them to take action quickly and effectively without having to acknowledge the vested, selfish interests of the commercial and industrial sectors as well as the local people.

While coal is still important in power stations they have begun to reduce its use since 2014 and this has been helped by the fact that wind and solar energy, the main renewables, are now cheaper.

Indeed the cost of solar power has decreased by 73 per cent since 2010, and every year since then has seen a marked increase in renewable energy investment.

Last year China invested $126 billion, compared with just $40 billion in the US and the same amount in the whole of the European Union, including us. Their plan is to invest $290 billion by 2020 and the aim is for at least 30 percent of the national energy to be renewable, without CO2 emissions, by 2030.

They are the clear world leaders with wind energy on course to double the current capacity by 2020. They are certainly taking it seriously as in the last ten years they have increased the turbine output by a factor of 30.

Indeed they could theoretically meet all their electricity needs with wind turbines within twenty years, though they do have challenging distance problems with the linking up of the networks to the areas of need.