It’s hard to say. China gets most of its power from coal, and since it is the the fastest growing major economy in the world, it also has the highest total CO2 emissions out of any country in the world, next to the United States which comes in second (and Australia third). Some experts believe that the United States must bite the bullet on carbon emissions by coming up with some clear definable strategies in reducing its carbon footprint; if the US were able to do this, China would be more likely to follow in its footsteps. The problem here is that the United States and China seem to be influencing each other’s reckless behavior in carbon emissions – neither country has agreed to a cap on their emissions. As industrialized nations, they have a responsibility to help reduce the world’s carbon emissions, because these two countries essentially make the air dirtier for everyone else. China has been playing around with ideas to reduce carbon emissions, and has invested in alternative energies such as hydro and solar power, but they are not bringing anything new to the table, and none of their strategies have clear quantifiable goals. Essentially, while they are doing some things to reduce their carbon footprint, it’s not nearly effective enough to keep up with their growth rate.
China is still a developing country, so understandably, it’s focus is attaining a solid economic foothold. Because China isn’t catagorized as a developed country (like the US), many of the environmental councils don’t focus on cutting this superpower’s fossil fuel output. However, as the “green industry” becomes more lucrative, I’m sure China will become even more involved. China is currently making great strides, at present. Aiming to significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2020.
China consumes an alarmingly high amount of coal which runs parallel to their rapid industrialization. Overall, I agree with jet: they’re experiencing such tremendous growth and building their economy is the primary concern. There are not any international sanctions that dictate energy consumption for any given country, so China can continue to use fossil fuels until their government, independently, enacts regulations or legislation to curb their emissions. It is, after all, a subjective question you pose: a lot of Chinese citizens could ask the same of the United States.
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