China Says Rich Countries Should Take Lead on Global Warming

– The US government is still in deep denial about Global Warming and the fastest two rising powers, China and India, both acknowledge the problem but they say that it doesn’t belong to them. From their POV, the first world powers earned their wealth by trashing the environment for the last 150 years and now we’re asking them to stall their climbs out of poverty because the world cannot stand the load of their pollution in addition to ours. That is, indeed, a hard POV to find fault with – other than that (a) two wrongs don’t make a right and (b) if we all don’t act to curb the developing problems, the consequences will fall equally upon all of us.

– When I hear these sorts of back-and-forths between the world’s powers over who should do what, the pragmatist in me thinks it is unlikely that we (humanity) are going to act in a concerted way for our own good. And, like stupid sailors, we will all be still arguing as the only life boat we have sinks beneath the coming Perfect Storm along with the futures of our children.”

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BEIJING, Feb. 6 — China said Tuesday that wealthier countries must take the lead in curbing greenhouse gas emissions and refused to say whether it would agree to any mandatory emissions limits that might hamper its booming economy.

Jiang Yu, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry, said China was willing to contribute to an international effort to combat global warming but placed the primary responsibility on richer, developed nations that have been polluting for much longer.

“It must be pointed out that climate change has been caused by the long-term historic emissions of developed countries and their high per capita emissions,” she said, adding that developed countries have responsibilities for global warming “that cannot be shirked.”

Ms. Jiang’s comments, combined with another briefing on Tuesday by the country’s leading climate expert, represented China’s first official response to a landmark report issued last week by a United Nations panel of scientists that declared global warming is “unequivocal” and warned that immediate action must be taken to prevent harmful consequences.

China is the world’s second largest emitter of the greenhouse gases contributing to climate change, trailing only the United States. Last November, the International Energy Agency in Paris predicted that China would pass the United States in emissions of carbon dioxide in 2009. China had been expected to surpass the United States as late as 2020, but its soaring consumption of coal has rapidly increased the country’s emissions.

China derives nearly 70 percent of its energy from coal-fired power plants, many of them equipped with substandard pollution controls.

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