The great green leap forward?

Mr Hu

Yesterday, China’s President Hu Jintao pledged to cut greenhouse gases by a “notable margin” .

This is the first time China‘s has made a big statement about climate change, even though it has not yet added dates or target.

Some commentators say it is one of the most historically significant announcements that Mr Jintao has ever made.  Jennifer Haverkamp, of the lobby group Environmental Defence Fund, said: “It’s striking that China has come to New York with some real proposals while President Obama’s speech was largely rhetorical”.

Other critics have pointed to the lack of detail in Mr Hu’s speeech Todd Stern the top US negotiator commented: “It depends on what the number is”.

Are you impressed with China? Or do you think it’s an empty gesture?  Is China leading the way on green reform?

Chocolate on China Daily addresses critics of China’s pollution levels saying: “Those who blame us should look at yourself and your country. China is a developing country but is doing beneficial things for the world”.

Geoffrey Lean comments that ‘Mr Hu has done himself no favours by raising expectations and then disappointing.’

18 Responses to “The great green leap forward?”

  1. September 22, 2009 at 19:18

    it definitely would be nice to see china being more responsive to issues of global interest like the climate. But talk is quite cheap. China would have to be more proactive in to demonstrate it’s resolve. if not, all it has done is join the usual political rhetorics common to world powers.

  2. 2 vijay pillai
    September 22, 2009 at 22:41

    For goodness sake let us give China the battont to lead the world in climate change for several reasons.
    China is a developing country in terms of large population still rural by any yardstic.But it has been at the receiving end of much critism for not being part of 1997 kyoto agreement and dragging its feet saying it is still a developing nation needing help and leadership from advance nations like uk who are at the forefront of kyoto co2 reduction target.

    Dramatic change of heart is a wecome signal to the world that China with its tested leadership in reducing poverty of more than 1.3 billion people must have given enought strength to be a leader not a follower in climate change policies and implementaion.
    As someone advocated for control of global warming for more than 2 decades, i am pleased with the news that china is happy at the forefront and not playing a secondary role.

  3. 3 Stefano Di Pasquale
    September 22, 2009 at 23:38

    After 50 years of world Far West…. killer particulate, insecticides… the interests of the industries that win out over those of the environment and human health… these words sound unnatural to me.

  4. 4 Roberto
    September 23, 2009 at 01:50

    RE “” Is China leading the world on climate change? “”

    ——— The question is a cruel joke.

    China and the US have conspired to co-join in an unholy spiral to the bottom of humanity as they try to drag the world with them.

  5. 5 Tan Boon Tee
    September 23, 2009 at 04:15

    China, now reputedly the largest global contributor of green house gases, has made a good and encouraging start in improving its environment. Intensively aware of the threatening climate change to human lives, China is showing its determination in arresting the deteriorating biosphere in the coming years.

    President Hu is a man of his words. Trust that he would not fail his promises.

  6. 6 Roy, Washington DC
    September 23, 2009 at 04:32

    “However, the proposal is unlikely to mean an overall reduction in emissions, as China’s economy is expected to continue to grow rapidly.”

    If a country’s economy is doing well, that’s great, but one of the side effects is that there is going to be a certain environmental toll. It’s noble to want to reduce this, but as long as the world’s population keeps growing, problems like this are only going to keep getting worse and worse.

  7. 7 Peter
    September 23, 2009 at 07:40

    China will keep their words . Unless if there is no ambiguity in President Hu ‘s statement.

  8. 8 scmehta
    September 23, 2009 at 08:04

    It does not matter who leads, as long as the problem of climate change is conscientiously tackled by the whole world. Immediately, the most important thing is to reduce carbon emission in whatever way/manner possible; the immediate next is to implement/use alternative sources of energy (as clean as possible). China has lot to contribute by drastically cutting on its dependence on the coal-energy ( being 80% dependent on it ) and benefit due to the resultant reduction in the suffocatingly polluted atmosphere in many parts of the country. The other nations too need to do a lot on the similar lines.

  9. September 23, 2009 at 08:15

    Nice to know and big publicity stunt. I saw a figure on DW-TV, showing the CO2 emissions of 2008. The world-emissions sunk 2%, The US sunk by 6%, Europe sunk by 5% and China grew by 2%; correlating with the growth or shrinkage of the respective economy. So China’s economy still grew, even with the world crisis. And it will continue to grow. To the outside, they’re portraying all these goals, but they really have a looooong way to go. A week ago I landed in Beijing, and you couldn’t see the sun, because of all that grey-yellowish smog. A day later, I landed in Dandong, litter everywhere, the Yalu River smutty and yellowish looking ground water. At least the sun visible.

  10. September 23, 2009 at 12:42

    This is an interesting article ‘Gap Holds Between Climate Stances of Rich and Poor’. It was written before the UN climate conference. Have a look and let me know what you think.



    • 11 Tom K in Mpls
      September 23, 2009 at 16:00

      Comical same old gimme begging. I wish they would work to grow as we are seeing in a couple of African nations. In the global economy, if anyone tries to generate business, there are many willing to trade on every level. This is the way to get new technologies. I love honest capitalism.

  11. 12 T
    September 23, 2009 at 13:27

    What’s happening is this. Everyone’s trying to outspin everyone else on this issue. Which means that other countries are still trying to make the States commit to an actual goal (instead of continuing to dodge the issue).

  12. 13 patti in cape coral
    September 23, 2009 at 13:39

    Interesting article. If I understand it correctly, it is being posed that the west, particularly the US, has historically been more damaging to the environment because we had 100 years jump start in development, so we should be responsible for the bulk of the cost of environmentally protective measures now. I’m not sure I agree, I think that each country should be responsible for its own environmental measures. I don’t know enough to say more, but I am looking forward to the show, I may change my mind.

  13. 14 RightPaddock
    September 23, 2009 at 14:32

    So China is now expected to lead the world on combating climate change, in addition to solving the GFC. Meanwhile 300 millions of its people don’t even have access to clean water – coincidentally that’s about the population of the USA and about 75% of the population of Europe.

    The UN Secretary General said to the world leaders “You have the power to do something about this”. That may be true of China, Egypt, Iran, Libya, North Korea and other dictatorial regimes like Russia, but elsewhere most presidents and prime ministers are constrained by their national constitutions – i.e. they don’t have the power he supposes – maybe he should do a crash course in democracy..

    China may be the biggest daily emitter in September 2009; but we ought to expect the greatest effort from countries that have emitted the most over over the past 200 years, not just in the last week or even the last decade!!. By that measure China, India are small contributors, sounds like yet another example of the poor being stitched up by the rich.

  14. 15 Tom K in Mpls
    September 23, 2009 at 15:41

    The issue of global warming still hasn’t been proven. The reports I have seen recently show a short term drop in temperatures over the last decade. We simply can’t know the effect we have on a very powerful and adaptive natural system.

    That being said, we have documented the cost to ourselves for heavy polluting. Also many newer technologies save money through their efficiency. Many of them are also self sustaining and decrease the dependency on other nations for power. There is no reason not to use them and no need for forcing an issue that will resolve itself in the name of profit.

    • 16 Alex Kiss
      September 24, 2009 at 16:15

      Actually I don’t really care whether the naysayers or yeahsayers on climate change are right.

      We should simply agree that all pollution is unacceptable, then having reduced it to an absolute minimum, if the world warms or cools, then, hey that’s the shape of the universe.

      They are many types of pollution, carbon emissions, chemicals and effluent in seas and rivers, discarded non-degradables, debris in low orbit, nuclear waste etc. It simply makes sense to keep your own nest clean.

  15. September 26, 2009 at 12:34

    Hu Jintao or Hu Jintoffee? That is the question.

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