China World’s #1 Carbon/GHG Polluter as West Exports Emissions

Per-capita an individual American still far out-emits all
According to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, China's emissions of carbon dioxide have exceeded those of the United States. The report released this week said that China's emissions for the year surpassed those of the U.S. by 8% [more]. Congratulations China on becoming the world's greatest national greenhouse gas emitter! In total as a nation, you are now doing the most to kill the Earth through short-sited economic gain at the expense of the biosphere, something to be proud of indeed! Important honorable mentions however must go to all the world's citizens, particularly in the over-developed world, that buy all the consumer “crap”, much of which we do not really need, being made in China causing the pollution in the first place. We are witnessing the logical consequences of moving the world's industrial base where labor is cheapest and environmental regulation lax. And it does not take a math genius to figure out that per person, with a much smaller population of people at ~ 300 million versus China's one billion plus, that Americans as individuals are still the champions in the category of carbon released per individual person. “700 million Chinese people live on less than $3 a day and on average their greenhouse gas impact last year was only a quarter that of an American, or half that of someone in Britain.”
Neither the United States nor China must follow limits on greenhouse gas emissions set in the the 1997 Kyoto Protocol – the Americans out of obstruction, the Chinese out of feigned developing status. Both along with India, Brazil, Mexico and other emergent nations that though not rich, are causing a large enough proportion of the global problem, simply must take part in mandatory carbon cut targets. It is if global nececessity to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. A successor agreement to Kyoto — perhaps called Kyoto 2 — must swiftly be negotiated. Any agreement must include a much larger grouping of the world's leading emitting countries as a nation, while still holding for much greater cuts by rich nation's as a matter of equity and justice.


Emissions must contract, even as there is a convergence in over-developed and not yet over-developed countries per capita emissions — an approach commonly called contract and converge [search]. Global emissions can not be distributed without regard to past, present and future equity issues between the rich nations with long history of massive emissions, and nations at various rates of material production that are now becoming major emitters. There must be a grand deal between North/South on issues of climate, debt, technological transfer and a host of other issues. Negotiations for Kyoto 2 must commence now.

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3 Responses

  1. zephyr says:

    Dr. Barry wrote:
    …..Congratulations China on becoming the world's greatest national greenhouse gas emitter! In total as a nation, you are now doing the most to kill the Earth through short-sited economic gain at the expense of the biosphere, something to be proud of indeed! Important honorable mentions however must go to all the world's citizens, particularly in the over-developed world, that buy all the consumer “crap”, much of which we do not really need, being made in China causing the pollution in the first place…..
    First off, I want to make it clear that I think the report of China's newly-elevated status in the Emissions Production Department is very depressing to say the least. In fact MOST of the Earth news this week has been less-than-positive in my opinion.
    However, I feel compelled here to express my utter disgust with the FACT that the United States has outsourced most of its manufacturing base to countries the relatively lax environmental regulations of which have allowed corporations to significantly reduce their operating costs and rake in record profits to boot.
    No one can tell me that this (outsourcing) wasn't, and isn't, a DELIBERATELY EXECUTED business plan, designed to maximize corporate profit at the expense of human beings and their life support systems.
    I think people know where I'm going with this. I'll tell you what, I dare not comment further as I'm having enough difficulty restraining myself as it is.
    Signed,
    DISGUSTED

  2. david becher says:

    Its absoluteley true that climate change and exchange rate policy were not factored into the key US and EU negotiations leading to China's WTO entry. Becauwe they either weren't defined or were not understood.
    Consumption modeling takes into account changing preferences over lifetimes and implicitly changes in the technological horizon; although neither of these are definable in detail they are definable conceptually enough that individuals have a good idea that they will accumulate and save during their working life anticipating retirement time. We understand that technology will change in the next 20 years in large ways affecting supply and demand. China will need urging to make adjustments to its exchange policy and to move up to world class environmental standards.
    It is ironic the talk about China as the evil Mandarin when it is doing exactly what it planned and what we all expected and agreed for it to do. So you would like to punish China for doing what everyone agreed to. All I can say is SHAME ON US. So get on with it instead of sobbing and venting on blog forums just to copy. Participate in pubic policy forums for action or form one (how about USICEP, national institute for China environmental and exchange policy) to beat up China. But believe that China will not cooperate if the approach is to try to bully or embarrass it to force policy change. Change will come from within.

  3. Anonymous says:

    david becher wrote:
    …..All I can say is SHAME ON US…..
    That was exactly my point.
    I do hope I made that clear.

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