• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Copenhagen Consequences Video: China is the Main Culprit

    In response to the December 7th through 18th Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, The Heritage Foundation is launching a video series to cover all the details and aspects of the climate summit. We’ll address all the angles (climate, energy, national security, sovereignty, trade, and more) and provide you with everything you need to know about Copenhagen.

    Yesterday, Heritage Foundation Senior Policy Analyst Ben Lieberman discussed how the Byrd-Hagel Resolution should guide U.S. criteria for an international climate treaty. Up next is Derek Scissors, Heritage Research Fellow in Asia Economic Policy in the Asian Studies Center, discussing China’s role at Copenhagen. Read his paper, 10 Things About China and Climate Change, here.

    China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that Chinese emissions will rise nine times faster than America’s emissions through 2030. The Chinese State Council said it would cut the country’s carbon intensity, which is “carbon emissions relative to the size of its economy,” 45 percent by 2020, but that will not get China further than the country’s business as usual case. There are a number of reasons not to buy into China’s rhetoric:

    • Despite many attempts to sell China as the front-runner in green energy because of heavy investments in wind and solar, Scissors asserts that “Diversification from coal has failed and will continue to fail. Coal now provides 70 percent of the PRC’s energy and almost 80 percent of its electricity, with both figures higher than they were a decade ago. These shares may barely shift for decades to come.”

    • China prefers to measure carbon emissions relative to the size of its economy, mostly because it is less verifiable than a pure emissions target. Since carbon intensity is measured in relation to gross domestic product and Chinese statistics are often altered or censored, it will be easier for China to “meet” its goals.

    • China also has more pressing environmental issues than reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Water shortage and contamination are a huge problem, with many bodies of water not even being suitable for human contact or even irrigation. The country faces real air pollution problems, as many witnessed at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The United States should be realistic when dealing with China and carbon emissions, and it should see through the country’s dog and pony show.

    Be sure to read Derek Scissors’ full paper, “Ten Things about China and Climate Change” and the rest of Heritage’s work on the climate changes summit at Copenhagen Consequences.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Copenhagen Consequences Video: China is the Main Culprit

    1. Bobbie Jay says:

      Come on, China. For all of humanity, but especially for the people of your country, reduce your emissions. Just be careful they don't slip in any man-made global scamming mandates!

    2. Jerry from Chicago says:

      China, like every other country that has industrialized, will continue to do what it thinks is in best interests of itself. Just like every other country that industrialized, they burned coal to get where they are.

      China's attitude must be "it was ok for the West to burn coal and oil and have deisel engines and smoke stacks belching black smoke to create electricty, make steel, and power transportation, but now that we are in a position to do the same we are told we shouldn't. China's air pollution isn't a hoax. Claiming that it creates global warming is a hoax.

      How dare Obama commit to sending millions or billions to foreign nations to help them achieve a reduction in carbon emissions? By his own admission, Obama has admitted that the U.S. is broke. We are trillions in deficit and all he can think about is how to make that debt larger.

      Mr. Obama is a socialist zealot. He thinks that government should have unlimited power and control everything. I don't care how good his intentions are, his views, attitudes, politics and spending habits are too extreme. He may be a humanitarian at heart, but he has no right to take from everyone who works for a living to support those who won't or can't. Joe Stalin claimed that all of his actions were for the benefit of all.

    3. Bob, Portland, OR says:

      China may very well save us all from this climate change hoax.

      Was it China that hacked into the GW emails?

      Go China.

    4. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      All things being equal, every Nation will always do what it thinks best for itself, reguardless of its neighbors or its citizens. In modern times and old, a Nation lies not within the people but within the power given, or taken, by the Government.

      America as an ideal is a Republic, in which as a Nation is ruled by Law, not men. Its Citizens are free from the tryanny of government and protected under the Laws of its Constitution.

      In actuallity America is only as free as the individual. If the individual is free enough to fight and die for the right to live in a Republic with our Constitution as our only source of power, then indeed we are free. However, if the individual is only willing to risk his neighbor's life and honor, and his neighbor to die for his right to live in a Republic, then it is all a dream, and best forgotten.

      I choose to Stand for my Republic of America with all the risks. I do not make provisions for the rest of the Nations of the World, for that is not my responsibility, nor is it any other American's responsibility to do so.

      Whatever is to happen with our weather, comets, Ice Ages, Wars, et al, I choose to be an American, and my only responsibility is to assure that our way of life, being a Republic and Capitalism endures.

    5. Bobbie Jay says:

      I think it was Russia.

      Go China and Russia?

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.