This story is potentially groundbreaking. As one of the world's leading greenhouse polluters is talking about reducing their global emission. China is currently responsible for emitting 20% of the world's total carbon dioxide, this can only be matched by the USA. This therefore makes China into a very important and strategic nation in terms of overall pollution cutbacks. Reducing the amount emitted by a country such as China would have drastic consequences on the world's environment.
The main problem China has is that it is a developing nation, and as such has a necessity to consume all the energy it can create to further progress its economy. 70% of all the energy they produce comes from coal, which of course during its combustion generates great amounts of carbon dioxide. If they are true to their word then essentially the efficiency of the country will increase. The general goal is to reduce the carbon intensity of the nation, which is associated to the GDP of the nation. This is however very deceptive because one of the main problems is the speed at which the Chinese economy is growing. What would actually happen is that the overall emissions today would be exactly the same as those in 2030. In actual fact, no official figures have been published by the Chinese government so it is still uncertain as to what actually is going to happen.
One of the major factors in Chinese policy resides in the fact they believe they have a right to emit more carbon dioxide than developing countries. This of course is something which I am certainly in favor of. I feel it is unfair to force countries that haven't really contributed to what is now considered to be a global problem. Developed nations have been emitting all sorts of contaminants and greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere for years and years, without the slightest concern. This in turn has enabled us to progress, making us richer and more powerful. Whether or not this has contributed to global warming is a completely different debate which will continue to create conflict between experts. However what isn't debatable is the potential each country has to contributing to lowering emissions. It is unfair to ask a nation which finds itself in the position the US was back in the day, to cutback its progression. The Chinese have only been technologically competitive for a few years, and their accumulative pollution is not anywhere near the rest of developed nations. They are essentially still very economically immature and have a greater need to maintain their current status in order to make the next step into a developed country.
One of the major factors in global warming resides in the American energy policy. The fact the Kyoto protocol was dismissed completely proves just how much the Americans care about the overall well being of the world. The fact of the matter is that they only care about themselves and this in turn automatically gives China the right to not care about anything else but themselves and actually increase carbon dioxide emissions. However, thankfully some politicians are smart enough to understand that we all live on the same planet and therefore we all need to make an effort to cutback on any potentially harming policies. The Europeans have and are investing a great amount of their money into new technologies which have had serious effects on their carbon dioxide emissions.
The Chinese government is prepared to cutback on their emissions which in turn slows down their growth rate, but this should be seen as a good thing, as an example to the rest, that if we all pitch in, in the long run the earth will be in a better state. The Chinese have asked for help, they have asked for the developing nations to also make a move and actually make a greater effort in cutting back. This is simply because they have more power and a greater tolerance. The Chinese have also asked for the more powerful nations to investigate in cleaner technologies, which later on can be adopted by less developed nations. The general message is that everyone needs to contribute. With the Copenhagen summit later this year, where a general analysis of the state of the world will be evaluated, one can only hope that this time a step forward by the greater nations will be made.