Once a hugely polluting nation, China looks set to become the world's leading light in the race to move to a low-carbon economy, according to a new report. Thanks to the country's ongoing investment in renewable energy, China looks set to enjoy further economic gains whilst lessening the global influence that other oil exporters such as Saudi Arabia and Russia have.
The report, produced by IRENA, assessed the world's evolving energy landscape and the geopolitical implications of these changes.
Beijing is now in a hugely influential position thanks to its output in renewables as well as in aligned technologies such as electric cars. So strong is its position, in fact, that other countries may find it difficult to compete.
The report's authors found that the economic benefits of a growing renewable energy industry were significant and likely to create newly emerging energy leaders across the world. In turn, they found, this could create new social, political and economic alliances and change trade patterns as a whole.
Similarly, however, those countries that had become dependent on fossil fuel revenues could find their future less certain. A key driver behind this change is that renewable energy can be adopted across the world with a range of technologies available that give nearly all countries the chance to become energy secure and to grow a clean energy economy.
China is also a leader in the export of renewable technologies, including wind turbines, solar panels, storage batteries and electric vehicles, as well as a leading producer of clean energy itself. It also has 29pc of the world's clean energy technology patents.
Other countries set to enjoy a boon from renewables include Australia, Mongolia, Costa Rica and the Democratic Republic of Congo.