China's carbon emissions jump 80% in just three years

There's doubt that the rest of the world's efforts will have any impact on the global situation

There's doubt that the rest of the world's efforts will have any impact on the global situation

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Beijing's efforts to cut its local pollution for the Olympics aside, China has shown little interest in cutting back its output of carbon into the atmosphere. Even with Beijing's drastic measures, athletes and press complained of the oppressive atmosphere. Now it looks like China's atmosphere may become the world's, outweighing the emissions cuts in Europe and U.S.

A new report released by international organization, Geophysical Research Letters, has revealed that despite growing environmental concerns in recent times, China's output of carbon emissions has shot up by a whopping 80% in a period of just three years between 2002 and 2005.

According to recent statistics compiled by the U.S. government's 'Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center', China and the U.S. both output a similar amount of carbon dioxide and together the two countries account for almost half of all world carbon dioxide output.

China's rapidly increasing population growth, economic growth and subsequent increase in production, exports and consumption has increased carbon emissions dramatically, and the paper's authors write that China's energy hungry populace is demanding more and more electricity while new, efficient technologies struggle to play catch-up with the demands.

However, while China's total national output may exceed that of the U.S., much of this is to blame on its large population. While the U.S. sits in the list of top 10 countries with the most emissions per capita, China is found much further down the list at 91st, behind countries such as Barbados and Jamaica. While the report finds that the nation as a whole is the world's largest carbon dioxide emitter, when examined on an individual level the average person in China emits just 15% of what the average person in the U.S. would emit.

Reducing carbon emissions for China, then, still remains important but it will only be after greater reduction in developed countries such as the U.S. that will truly encourage developing countries such as China to seriously reduce their emissions; developing countries often hold the view that the developed countries were allowed to run rampant with their carbon emissions when they were growing during the 19th and 20th centuries, and now that it is the developing world's turn to experience similar growth it is being unfairly hindered.

Meanwhile, recent reforms in the European Union calling for the reduction of carbon emissions by almost 20% in the next six years are just the first step in reducing total world carbon emissions, and increased world co-operation on a unifying issue such as improving the environment, as well as individual national action in this area, should hopefully see a slowdown of world emissions in the near future.
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Comments (7)
  1. Wow, 80% is unprecedented, and surely that will only go up as China becomes even more densely populated while their people and leaders don't even care. This isn't the 19th century, people have to start taking responsibility for their actions (and that includes those of us in the U.S.) I'm definitely not saying people should all drive microscopic, 35mph electric cars; I think we have a right to buy performance vehicles. However, I think too much emphasis is put on the auto industry, when we should really start with dirty electricity generation (what good is a 0 emmissions vehicle if the electricity used to charge it comes from ancient, coal burning powereplants pumping way more hydrocarbons than all Bugatti Veyrons, Hummers, and Escalades combined?) Then we should move to factories and big business before we start picking on cars.

  2. Totally agree with you Mike. However you will find that the greenies are also against nuclear power, which is right now the only "clean" way to get our energy needs. Alternative energy is growing fast but won't be able to take over for a long time.

  3. And the US media was talking about how America is the #1 pollutor, and never said anything about China being the number 1 polluter. Wired stupid psycho media.

  4. Obviously China would be the #1 polluter, they have over 1/6th of the world's population. Anything but being the top polluter wouldn't make any sense. But America is the top polluter PER CAPITA, an American citizen pollutes way more than a Chinese citizen. China's population is booming, every aspect of their infrastructure and is growing and they don't have the kind of technology or money per capita that we have. They can't grow how they are and take care of the environment at the same time. They're trying to become a developed country, like us. Until they become one they aren't going to give a shit about the environment, we sure didn't.

  5. Obama and the Dems in Congress are more than willing to bankrupt this country in pursuit of a pie in the sky solution to the non-existing problem of gobal warming. They would subject the industry to crippling restrictions while countries like China, Russia and India continue full speed ahead.

    But, hey, we've been promised millions of *green jobs*... whatever that means though I'm sure the word *susteinability* will be used to try to explain it. That and *reusable toilet paper* (I read it about it recently)

    Cars - which is the concern of this forum - become cleaner and cleaner as do power plants. But as another reader pointed out the crazy greeners won't even let us build nuclear power plants which are the most effective and clean method of producing electricity.

  6. SuperSkyline89 - china is not a developed country? are you insane? that might be the most uninformed comment ive ever seen on MA.
    china is a communist country. like all communist countries, the government tells the people what they can do and when. the government would rather continue to collect taxes than stifle economic growth with unnecessary spending on environmental initiatives.
    Their dis involvement with green initiatives is not because they dont have the financial ability to be green. the situation is that with a democratic form of government, Chinese lawmakers have no incentive to impose such sanctions.
    Thanks for playing.

  7. to correct my typo:
    without a democratic form of government, Chinese lawmakers have no incentive to impose such sanctions.

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