Friday, April 27, 2007

Climate Policy in China

An interesting read from this morning's CSM.


Colleen said...

I do agree that the United States needs to recognize the efforts that the Chinese are making to reduce emissions (even if the Chinese are not openly proclaiming these efforts as efforts to reduce CO2 emissions).

At first I did not understand the lawmakers decisions and motives. Some of them, such as Senator Jeff Bingham, want an "off ramp" that will let the U.S. out of it's obligation to cut CO2 emissions if China does not cut their own emissions. It seemed intuitive that the U.S. would want to cut emissions.

I did not realize the ramifications of cutting emissions though, for cutting emissions can cause trade problems. This problem took me back to the discussion in economics class this morning with the idea of the relation between poverty and lack of education. It would seem obvious to raise money, hire teachers, build schools, and tax the wealthy in order to raise education and lower the poverty level, but the solution is never that simple. So many factors and variables must be taken into consideration. How can the U.S. and other countries interested in cutting CO2 emissions get all countries involved? It appears to be an expensive process so funding would obviously be an issue. Maybe nonprofit organizations or the U.S. government (possibly coupled with the U.N.) could raise money to help these countries implement plans to cut CO2.

There is no question that CO2 emissions must be cut, but how can that be done without disrupting trade? Countries who participate in this effort would effectively be penalized for trying to clean up the environment.

So, what do you think can be done to get more countries involved?

-Colleen S.

Findley Merritt said...

I agree with Colleen. It seems that the main problem new and developing economies are dealing with (regarding curbing CO2 emissions) is that they dont want to interupt trade. In fact at the begining of the article, it felt like US policy makers were trying to weasel their way out by claiming they would only do something if China was trying to curb their emissions. However, it is obvious that China is implementing new policies and laws to try and cut down on some of the pollution, and we are still stuck with the "voluntary" policy. I'm so glad that China is making efforts to reduce their carbon emissions, especially since they have the fastest growing economy in the world. I think we really need to follow suit..

Robbie Day said...

China is dirty. The article nearly suggests that China is cleaner than the United States. Thats why I understand Findley's closing remark, "I think we really need to follow suit..". I surely hope we do not follow China's suit.

According to an article released by the Associated Press on June 21, 2007, China is now the world leader in emitting CO2.

"China overtook the U.S. in emissions of CO2 by about 7.5 percent in 2006. While China was 2 percent below the United States in 2005, voracious coal consumption and increased cement production caused the numbers to rise rapidly"
This information in the article is credited to an independent research group based in the Netherlands.

These figues don't only show that China's emissions have surpassed the United States', but the rate at which China's emissions are growing is faster than the United States'. Tell me if this a suit you wish to follow.

A solution to global reduction of CO2 emissons is found in the creation of a supranational organization, similar to NATO, the EU or the UN, that has a sole purpose of achieving an atmosphere with with a consistent 400ppm CO2. United all developed nations under an effective organization will allow for no more excused from those politicians.