"It is Almost Guaranteed That China Will Miss the 20% Target by 2010"
21 May, 2007 01:04 pm
A recent report issued by the International Energy Agency states that China could surpass the United States in CO2 emissions in the near future. 3 questions to Pep Canadell, the Executive Director of the Global Carbon Project at the Earth Observation Center in Canberra, Australia.
China has set a number of targets for increasing energy efficiency over the last 10 years, and it has missed every single one despite the government made it a top priority. It is almost guaranteed that China will miss the 20% target by 2010 with current economic growth rates.
Could we see new innovation and development of alternative energies and biofuels in China?
China will become soon one of the top producers of bioenergy, yet it will not be nearly enough to make a significant contribution to reduce China's massive emissions from the use of coal. In fact, China is opening dozens of new bioenergy power plants every week, originally targeting the reduction of smoke-health problems due to the burning of agricultural residues, and now to supply much needed energy.
Due to environmental problems, such as dust storms, droughts, spread of disease, and desertification, within its own territory China has had to face the grown loom of Climate Change. To what degree will those problems influence China to participate further in CO2 reduction schemes?
All the problems you mentioned have been acute for the past decades in China and this has not prevented China's economy from booming. If anything these problems (which are all associated with climate change too) will help realize China of the need to join a global framework to address climate change. There is not doubt, however, that had not been for those problems and their intensification in the future that China could have been grown even faster. Again, I think these problems will make China to become more environmentally sensitive as it is already happening (for their own survival). As an example, there are more trees being planted in China than anywhere else in the world.
Interview by: Christopher Le Coq
Pep Canadell is the Executive Director of the Global Carbon Project at the Earth Observation Center in Canberra, Australia.