Wednesday, November 14, 2007

China Refuses to Agree to Binding Emissions Rates

Sources: China Opposes Binding Emissions Targets, China to Reject Binding Emissions Caps

China’s emission rate of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, is one of the highest in the world, and experts predict that it will surpass that of the U.S., which is currently the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gas. Despite its growing role in the global warming crisis, China has recently stated its refusal to submit to binding emissions caps in any pact. Chinese officials cite their prioritizing the country’s development over environmental issues as a reason for their rejection. They assert that the wealthier countries who are also major emitters, such as the U.S. should bear the burden of cutting their emission rates.

China is not the only significant emitter that is sidestepping binding commitments to fight global warming. For instance, the U.S. refused to sign onto the Kyoto Agreement, under which 36 other industrial countries have promised to reduce their greenhouse gas missions significantly over the next several years.


1) Is China’s argument that global warming should be a problem that only industrial countries should bear the financial burden of confronting convincing?

2) What do you think is more important—spending money on development or spending money on the environment? Is there a way to strike a balance?

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