CHINA, CLIMATE CHANGE | See China.
‘China is the world’s biggest polluter, so it is no surprise that it fares poorly on some measures of pollution in a new global index of environmental performance. The shock is that it also stands out for its world-beating greenness in other areas on the same index. The surprise is that China has done very well on carbon. The experts calculate that, unusually among big emerging economies, it slowed the rate at which its greenhouse-gas emissions have grown in the past decade. That is partly a natural result of its development, which has led to investment in better technology and cleaner industries, but it is also thanks to policies to improve efficiency and boost renewable energy,’ (‘Environment: Browner, but greener–China stands out for its greenness in a new environmental ranking,’ The Economist Feb 1st 2014, p49).
‘Banning things probably works better in China than it would in most places. Many of the biggest polluters are state-owned enterprises, so the state can more easily control them…More than half its pollution comes from coal-fired power stations, which means that by concentrating on coal, the government can do more than in India, say, where the burning of stubble after harvest and other sorts of pollution are big problems,’ (‘Awry in the sky, The Economist 16th December 2017, p49).
‘Chinese authorities, spurred by public concern about air pollution, have prioritised green policies, such as switching from coal-fired power stations to renewable sources and setting up an emissions-trading system. China’s annual rate of emissions growth has fallen from 9.3% in 2002-11 to 0.6% in 2012-16. The waning of its cement-intensive construction boom should slow emissions further. But it will take more than incremental gains to stave off severe warming,’ (‘Not-so-cold comfort, The Economist 25th May 2019, p81).