Reportage lifted from http://www.carbonpositive.net/viewarticle.aspx?articleID=586 sourced to Financial Times, Reuters, and notice the Sydney Morning Herald approach to China following:
China stands firm on emission cuts
Wednesday, 7 February 2007
In the wake of the IPCC fourth assessment report released last week, the stance highlights the problems inherent in attempts to forge a new climate treaty among the world’s nations to succeed the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.
Despite already being the world’s second largest emitter after the United States, and catching up fast, a Beijing official said that climate concerns would not be allowed to impede China’s rapid rate of economic development.
China adds new power generating capacity each year equal to the total capacity of the UK and Thailand together, much of it from fossil fuel sources such as coal.
The government has set targets to increase energy efficiency by 4 per cent a year, but the country must be given time and help by the West to switch to cleaner energy sources, said Jiang Yu, an official from the foreign ministry.
Beijing is quick to point to figures from the China Meteorological Administration showing per capita emissions at 0.65 tonnes per person in 2000, - roughly one-fifth of those in Western countries.
At a press briefing this week, Yu said: “Developed countries bear an unshirkable responsibility … climate change has been caused by the long-term historic emissions of developed countries and their high per-capita emissions.”
Again officials refused to comment on whether they would consider reduction targets in a post-Kyoto accord.
The US and Australia reject Kyoto under their current governments, one of the main arguments being that any commitment they make to emissions reductions must be matched by the developing world. This has created a stalemate at the UNFCCC which has seen its timetable for a Kyoto successor fall behind schedule.
Financial Times, Reuters, 6/2/07
[bold added for directly attributed China govt official statements: SAM editor]
Is it fair to expect China to cut carbon emissions, which per capita are a tiny fraction of Australia's?
Last November, Australia's Environment Minister Senator Ian Campbell inadvertently upset Chinese delegates at the Climate Change Conference in Nairobi by stating what had been widely reported: that China was set to overtake the US as the world's biggest producer of greenhouse gases. Senator Campbell, of course, denied that his comments had offended his Chinese counterparts, but it was telling that China's state-run media immediately ran stories ''correcting'' the perception that China should be held to greater account on the global warming issue.
The stories pointed out that China's per capita carbon emissions were way below those of any industrialised countries - and pointedly gave Australia as a comparison.