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One of the recurring themes in conversations at Davos this week is whether China could provide the beginnings of a solution for scaling sustainability and decoupling growth from environmental impact. And, if so, whether China could be the global game-changer in the future.As is often the case, it is partly a question of definition. To be considered a global game-changer, China would need to influence mainstream market forces of supply, demand and the rules of the game both at home and abroad – and channel these towards a more sustainable model for economic growth. So, is China moving in that directionHaving come straight to the World Economic Forum from three weeks in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, it is immediately clear to me that there is a real commitment to develop new rules that promote sustainable development in China – and that this commitment is being backed up by significant investment in areas such as energy efficiency and clean energy through the latest five-year plan. China is expected to spend nearly US$1.6tr on its strategic sectors in the next five years, with the main focus being clean energy investments. At the same time, China is also pursuing a goal of "harmonious urbanisation" and the shift to intelligent cities.

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