China bucks international trend, signals intention to increase carbon emissions

Even as other industrialized nations pledged this week to decrease carbon emissions in an effort to combat climate change, one country signaled a decidedly different approach.

At an international climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Chinese officials said that the nation would increase emissions in the short term, though it plans to be carbon neutral by 2060.

“Casts a shadow on the global climate effort”

The proclamation disappointed climate activists at the COP26 summit and around the world who have pushed for widespread carbon neutrality by the end of this decade.

China is currently the biggest polluter in the world and emits more greenhouse gas than all other industrialized nations combined. Last week, the country ordered its coal plants to increase production in response to an ongoing energy crisis.

Li Shuo of Greenpeace East Asia offered a somber outlook, explaining: “China’s decision casts a shadow on the global climate effort. In light of the domestic economic uncertainties, the country appears hesitant to embrace stronger near-term targets, and this represents a missed opportunity to demonstrate ambition.”

The communist nation’s effort to advance wind and solar energy projects is not expected to significantly offset its pollution from dirty coal plants, according to experts.

Although Chinese President Xi Jinping did not attend the climate conference, representatives from the nation were on hand to witness the dismay of the international community.

“Rein in greenhouse gas emissions this decade”

Of course, some climate activists continue to go easy on China despite its troubling pollution record.

World Resources Institute Vice-President Helen Mountford, for example, extolled the nation’s pledge not to build additional coal plants beyond its borders while essentially ignoring the fact that it has built three times the number of coal plants that the rest of the world built last year.

She did acknowledge, however, that Beijing must do more to “rein in greenhouse gas emissions this decade.”

The bottom line is that China currently produces about half of the world’s goods — and that level of production requires a lot of power, which has to come from somewhere.

As a result, much of the world has given China a pass, but it now appears that the time has come for international leaders to hold the communist regime accountable.

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