Fast-developing China to push for $200 billion energy-efficiency investment

China will try to nudge its burgeoning economy in a green direction by prompting building owners to spend some $200 billion by 2020 on energy efficiency for apartments and office buildings, Vice Minister of Construction Qiu Baoxing announced yesterday. Construction makes up 27 percent (and rising) of China’s total energy consumption, and inefficient buildings have helped make the country the least energy-efficient major economy; the country’s resource-sucking structures have “become an obstacle to national development,” says Qiu. The newly tightened standards slice allowable energy consumption of heating, lighting, and air conditioning by up to 65 percent in some areas. Developers who fail to comply may have their business licenses revoked, and officials will be evaluated on their energy-saving skillz. All the green hoopla comes at a good time, as half of the world’s new buildings built between now and 2020 are expected to be located in China. Damn.