Energy Matters Series: Professor John Mathews

Global Green Shift: China as Driver


John Mathews will present evidence that a global green transition is under way – but that, contrary to popular perception, it is not driven by the United States, the European Union, or Japan. He argues that China is powering the green transition to enhance its own energy security and clean up its deteriorating urban environment. And, as China builds its renewable energy and circular economy infrastructure, it is driving down costs worldwide, and creating vast new business opportunities everywhere.

John also suggests that if China were to continue with fossil fuelled ‘business as usual’ it would face insoluble crises involving oil wars, terror, and geopolitical entanglements. He argues that this, rather than physical limits, is the real constraint to growth in the country.

China is extending its domestic clean energy strategy out to the 60-plus countries linked by its 'One Belt, One Road' initiative and the lending policies of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. John’s argument has added resonance given President Trump’s current approach of pushing the United States towards fossil fuels and away from renewables, effectively allowing China to assume world leadership in the emerging energy industries of the 21st century. 


About John A Mathews

Professor Mathews teaches strategy at Macquarie University's Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Sydney, where he specialises in catch-up strategies of firms and countries in East Asia. For the past several years Professor Mathews has focused on the greening of industry with an emphasis on the role of China.

His books include Greening of Capitalism: How Asia is Driving the Next Great Transformation (2015), China’s Renewable Energy Revolution and its Global Significance, co-authored with Dr Hao Tan (2015), and Global Green Shift (2017).

For more information please phone Dinah Towle on (09) 923 1636 or email

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Time & Date
20 September 2017
The University of Auckland Business School, Level 3, Decima Glenn Room, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland, 1010
P (09) 923 4606