Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

Climate fears prompt energy U-turn in China

China has abruptly slowed and halted work on building 22 major dams and power stations in a dramatic greening of the policies of the world's most populous nation.

The surprise move - one of the most dramatic ever undertaken by any government - arises from rapidly growing environmental concern in China. It calls the bluff of President George Bush, who has cited growing pollution in China as justification for refusing to join the Kyoto Protocol, which enters into force on Wednesday.

Last week Tony Blair went out of his way to welcome China's readiness to take "a real lead" in combating global warming. In the first instance of its kind, the Chinese State Environment Protection Agency laid down that the projects - which cover 13 of the country's provinces and are worth a total of £7.5bn - should not proceed until their impact on the environment had been reviewed. Among the halted projects is an important power facility at the highly controversial Three Gorges dam on the Yangtse River.

Observers attribute the move to growing interest in the environment by premier Wen Jiabao and other national leaders. Many of the children of top Chinese politicians and officials are members of the environmental pressure groups that are thriving at the country's top universities.

President Bush has cited the prospect of growing emissions of carbon dioxide from China as one of the main reasons for trying to kill the Kyoto treaty as "fatally flawed", and for his administration's attempts to try to stop the world agreeing to a successor.

But even before the latest move, China had already done far more than the US to combat the danger of climate change. Although its emissions of carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming, rose rapidly between 1978 and 1996, they then fell sharply as a result of clean-up measures.

US government figures suggest emissions dropped by 17 per cent between 1996 and 2000, while the Chinese economy grew by 36 per cent. During the same period, US emissions grew by 5 per cent.

Editorial Notes: The editors would welcome confirmation of this dramatic change of plan by Chinese authorites. Update 16March05, making the 'why' even clearer: Retreating glaciers may cause economic meltdown -LJ

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.

 

This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.


Port of LA to Open World's First Off-Grid Terminal Powered Entirely by Renewables

The Port of Los Angeles—the nation's largest port by container volume …

Algal Blooms Are No Accident For Florida Everglades and Estuaries

Restoring the balance of water in South Florida and the Everglades is the …

Uncommoning Nature

Occupying the same space (that ‘cannot be mapped in terms of a single …

Why Do We Pretend to Clean Up Ocean Oil Spills?

When the Deepwater Horizon well operated by BP (formerly British Petroleum) …

Popularity of Big Hydropower Projects Diminishes Around the World

Cambodia joins a lengthening list of nations around the world that are …

This Grassroots Louisiana Organization in a Conservative Parish Wants to Ban Fracking

Citizens in Louisiana are attempting to use their grassroots movement to …

Cold and Calculating: What the two Different Types of Ice do to Sea Levels

It was back in 250ʙⅽ when Archimedes reportedly stepped into his bathtub and …