China bucks recession trend to keep emissions high
While Western country governments beat and demoralise their own citizens with ever-increasing energy bills and tales of the imminent demise of the planet, China and India continue to pollute under the radar. How dandy. Where is Al Gore, the IPCC and the Greens when you need them to be the leaders in this travesty? No where – they’re too busy flying around telling us Westerners how much guilt we should feel and how to hug the nearest tree – oh, and pushing those all important gay rights. Go on China – you may as well make hay whilst the sun shines and continue to show us how stupid we’ve become. Will the person who figured out that you could take over the world by dumbing down school children and university graduates please take a bow – your 50-year social justice plan has finally born fruit!
While rich countries cut back on their emissions during the recent recession, China and India sailed through with no pause in their output of greenhouse gases. It’s further evidence that developing economies are having ever-greater influence on global temperatures.
Based on data compiled by the Global Carbon Project, carbon dioxide emissions worldwide dropped 1.3 per cent in 2009, compared to 2008. “That’s about four days of emissions out of the year,” says Pierre Friedlingstein of the University of Exeter, UK, who led the research.
A year ago, the International Energy Agency predicted a 3 per cent fall. The drop was half that, because the economies of China and other developing countries continued to grow. These countries emit much more carbon dioxide for every dollar they earn than do developed countries like the UK. “The UK is four times more efficient than China, because China is relying on coal and that emits more CO2 per unit of energy,” says Friedlingstein.
“It is indeed the ’emerging countries’ that push global emissions,” agrees Matthias Jonas of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria.
While emissions did not fall much, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increased by just 3.4 gigatonnes – one of the smallest rises in the last decade. Friedlingstein says the land and marine sinks performed better in 2009, because the La Niña conditions in the Pacific meant the tropics were wetter, allowing plants to grow more and store away more carbon.
The team predicts that, as the economy recovers, emissions will grow by 3 per cent in 2010.