Apple To Raise China Solar Investment Fivefold with Climate Bid

Apple Inc. will build an additional 200 MW of solar power in China and push suppliers to make similar commitments, as the maker of the iPad and Apple Watch seeks to offset its global warming emissions in the world’s most polluting country.

The solar investment comes atop two previously announced solar farms in southern China that have now been completed, producing a combined 40 MW of power, Apple said in a statement Wednesday. The company will also partner with suppliers, including iPhone maker Foxconn Technology Group, on an additional 2 GW of solar, wind and hydropower projects.

“Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time, and the time for action is now,” Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said. “We believe passionately in leaving the world better than we found it and hope that many other suppliers, partners and other companies join us in this important effort.”

The promises are part of Apple’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and come ahead of a United Nations summit in Paris later this year where world leaders will try to reach a global deal on reining in climate-change pollution. China, the world’s biggest source of greenhouse gases, has promised to almost double the amount of energy it gets from renewable and nuclear power by 2030.

Apple said in April that it would partner with U.S.-based SunPower Corp. to build the two generating stations in Sichuan province. The new solar farms produce more power than Apple’s operations consume in China, making the company “carbon neutral," according to the statement. The 200 megawatts of new investments will involve construction in northern, eastern and southern China and “will begin to offset the energy used in Apple’s supply chain."

Foxconn will construct 400 megawatts of solar by 2018 as part of the initiative with suppliers, starting in Henan province. Foxconn has committed to generate as much renewable energy as its Zhengzhou factory uses in final production of the iPhone, Apple said.

©2015 Bloomberg News

Lead image: Apple flag-store in Nanjing East Road, Shanghai. Credit: TonyV3112 / Shutterstock.com

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