China Gets the (Sooty) Gold in Power Emissions
Posted on Aug 27, 2008
China’s unceasing economic growth has always worried environmentalists, and a new report by the Center for Global Development may put those concerns on a new level. After increasing power-plant emissions by a third this year, China’s coal-based power sector is poised to be the most polluting in the world ... even worse than that of the United States.
The Washington Post:
The carbon emissions of China’s electric power sector will jump by about a third this year and surpass the total emissions of the U.S. electric power industry for the first time, according to a report by the Center for Global Development, a Washington-based think tank.
The estimate, gathered from a variety of public data, shows that while China and India are becoming somewhat more efficient in energy use, their rapid pace of economic growth would mean a doubling of their carbon emissions from power plants over the next dozen years.
“We see some marginal signs of improvement in carbon intensity, particularly in some of the major developing countries,” said Kevin Ummel, a researcher at the Center for Global Development. “But even with that slight silver lining, aggregate emissions—the only measure that matters to the atmosphere—continue to race upward.”
China’s coal-based power sector is estimated to surpass the United States’ astronomical emissions levels this year, a development that casts doubt on the environmental sustainability of China’s growth.