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China Likely to Surpass US in Greenhouse Gas Emissions This Year or Next

6 March 2007

SF Chronicle. China is highly likely to overtake the United States this year or in 2008 as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

New statistics released in Beijing on Wednesday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics show that China’s consumption of fossil fuels rose in 2006 by 9.3%, about the same rate as in previous years, and about eight times higher than the US increase of 1.2%.

This information, along with data from the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based alliance of oil importing nations, also revealed that China’s greenhouse gas emissions have recently been growing by a total amount much greater than that of all industrialized nations put together.

While China’s total greenhouse gas emissions were only 42% of the US level in 2001, they had soared to an estimated 97% of the American level by 2006.

“The magnitude of what’s happening in China threatens to wipe out what’s happening internationally,” said David Fridley, leader of the China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

“Today’s global warming problem has been caused mainly by us in the West, with the cumulative (carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere, but China is contributing to the global warming problem of tomorrow.”

China’s energy consumption per unit of production is 40% higher than the world’s average, and about 70% of its energy comes from coal.

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Comments

Color me unsurprised.

It's still being 'caused' by the west, pretty much everything we buy is made in China... so now we have less manufacturing locally and more in foreign lands where pollution laws are far less strict. Perhaps that should be considered when imposing import duties.

Erick:

It's also "caused" by China's rigid control of the value of its currency. By keeping their currency artificially low, they entice more and more factories to open there due to very low labor costs. There has been a lot of pressure internationally for them to let their currency appreciate.

Cervus, why are you surprised? This has been predicted for a long time. The futility of Kyoto is that is ignores India and China.

Kit:

Yes, I know. And it was one of the main objections of the 1997 Byrd-Hagel Resolution that passed 95-0.

Well over 100 countries are exporting their GHG to China and India by buying low price Chinese and Indian made goods.

A similar situation is happening in Alberta + Sask., Canada. By exporting GHG producing products (Gas + oil from tar sands) the per capita GHG from those two provinces has gone sky high in the last 5 years.

It is rather unfair to look at GHG emission by country or by other limited geographic areas. GHG may be created at (A) to feed exports to (Z). The importer (Z) would look better and the exporter (A) would look worse than it should.

A better way would be to establish the per capita GHG on all goods consumed (local products + all imports). Heavy consumers would not look so good.

A better way would be to establish per unit of production standards. India and China has a growing demand for steel as their living standards improve. This is a reality that should not be punished.

10 % of Chinese and 40 % of Indian households dont even have access to electricity and do you expect them to sign-on to Kyoto. Thats weird.

I dont expect US to sign the treaty either. And the Germans are planning to phase out nuclear plants which will only increase their pollution.

Japan may be cutting down, but its an aging nation.

May be, the advanced countries may follow Australia's example by phasing out the incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs.

Interesting problem here - does the west hand over its hard won IP to China in the hope that it will adopt these technologies and reduce GHG, or does it wait and sell the technology to China.

This is a HUGE problem - how do we prevent China from ruining the planet with GHG and pollution in general - do e just give them the tech ( or make it open source ) or sell it to them and wait ?

This is a HUGE problem - how do we prevent China from ruining the planet with GHG and pollution in general - do e just give them the tech ( or make it open source ) or sell it to them and wait ?

There sure seems to be a lot of concern over China ruining the planet, coming from the same crowd that is so adamant that no restrictions whatsoever be placed on the US, still the biggest polluter, especially per capita. IMHO, if we have any good GHG reduction tech, we should let the world have it for little or no money. That would be in our own best interest.

As we said waaay back without china and india kyoto wasnt aclimate change treayu it was a co2 transfer. A very bad one at that.

Instead morons stared at the us and never once thought to remember the us was in the process of DEindustrializing and by 2040 wouldnt matter anymore.

Thier obsession with the us screwed em.

JAJAJAJA the population in China is 1306.31 millions while the United States population is 291.69. A great diference. So its not a surprise.

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