|China Is Biggest CO2 Emitter|
April 15, 2008
China has already overtaken the United States as the world's biggest emitter of
carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, a new report says.
The research, to be published next months, suggests China's greenhouse gas
emissions have been underestimated, and probably passed those of the US in
2006-07, the BBC reports.
The new report is by researchers at the University of California, who are due to
report their findings in the Journal of Environment Economics and Management.
They warn that unchecked future growth will dwarf any emissions cuts made by
rich nations under the Kyoto Protocol, which Australia signed late last year.
The researchers admit there is some uncertainty over the date when China may
have become the biggest emitter of CO2, as their analysis is based on 2004 data.
Until now, it had been generally believed that the US remained the world's
number one polluter.
In their findings, the researchers say China must radically changes its energy
policies otherwise its increase in greenhouse gas emissions will be several
times larger than the cuts in emissions being made by rich nations under Kyoto,
the BBC reported.
The researchers say their figures are based on provincial-level data from the
Chinese Environmental Protection Agency.
Lead researcher Dr Max Auffhammer said his projections had been presented widely
and no-one had raised a serious complaint.
He told BBC News, his projections made an assumption that the Chinese
government's recent aggressive energy efficiency program would fail, as the
previous one had failed badly.
"Our figures for emissions growth are truly shocking," he told the broadcaster.
"But there is no sense pointing a finger at the Chinese. They are trying to pull
people out of poverty and they clearly need help.
"The only solution is for a massive transfer of technology and wealth from the West."