Thursday, June 21, 2007

China Becomes the World's #1 Emitter

In announcement that was surprising for it's timing, rather than outcome, China has become the world's number one emitter of greenhouse gases. Experts believed that this would not occur until next year at the earliest, but unprecedented economic growth and their reliance on coal power has catapulted China ahead of the US far earlier than expected.

The analysis was done by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

In addition to being bad news all-round, the announcement punctuates an opinion expressed here earlier in June. Namely, that in the face of US obstructionism, it's critical for the world community to stop harping on about American involvement in international talks. The key nations are China and India. They represent the world's number one and two populations and will soon be the world's number one and number two greenhouse gas emitters. If you bring them into a productive solution now, market forces will force the US to follow in the coming decades. Dither away time on the US and the growing carbon footprint of these emerging Asian superpowers will squash international efforts underfoot.


Kevin said...

This is the frightening part for the world. China and India may feel some resentment to other parts of the developed world for years of non-interest in the environment. However we and they need to look at ways to develop alternative sources now.

I might be wrong but there was a time when the US held a better moral compass and their influence would make a difference. Today countries like China and India perhaps get a feeling that the US is not interested.

Maybe one or both of these countries will start to take the lead and start with the innovation needed.

Odiyya said...

I hope they will take the lead. As I wrote back in september, there is something to be said for population density.

It tends to place more people in direct contact with the negative consequences of their society - whether social or environmental - and consequently it's a little more difficult for politicians to get away with outright denial.

JT said...

I read a highlight for this earlier but never read fully into...its scary now that China is going to exponentially increase there pollution and their demand for resources....great blog...we should link exchange if ur interested.