By: Thomas Cisney
Summary. China is one of the largest contributors of carbon emissions on earth, with over one billion people within the limits of the country, it may seem like it wont get much better. If acted upon now, China may be able to prevent irreversible damage to Earth. The Chinese president Xi Jinping had made a statement of "Dual Carbon Goals" which promises to "phase down" the use of coal power plants and fossil fuels starting in five years. This plan also means to attempt to be neutral in greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide. China has indeed been decommissioning many coal plants around the country, and even some Chinese controlled coal plants outside of their borders have been halted. However even though this all seems nice, china's coal energy output increased by a net 29.8 gigawatts. These increases in coal powered energy output tallies more than the rest of the worlds reduction in coal use combined. On top of this China's carbon dioxide emissions where higher than pre-pandemic levels. China has definitely buckled down on climate changes before, excelling in production and use of electric vehicles so this may just be hiccup in their plans or this could be a coal powered statement. Either way being completely neutral within 30 years as pledged by Chinese president Xi Jinping is a interesting goal, and is going to be very hard task to accomplish. In the end this is going to unfortunately be something we have to sit back and see if the Chinese government keeps their word on, and if they do its going to be a great step in the right direction.
Why we should care? Creating some of the most carbon emissions in the world how they treat the damage they've done and plan to change in the future is important when attempting to be a role model for clean energy.
I found this article interesting since it high lights multiple climate factors that china has contributed to negative and positive. Highlighting the Chinese commitments to renewable energy, while also creating a discussion of the negative positions such as coal plants and how the Chinese government plans on tackling the possible irreversible impacts. Also mentioning how important it is to push forward with green energy and the likes is very impactful to readers that want to learn more about our own efforts and that of foreign governments. I also think criticizing governments and their policies is always important for progress even if a majority is agreed upon.
Science in Action.
Steven Mufson is a reporter covering the business of climate change.
Steven Mufson has continually covered climate change issues and topics over the course of his career and has a degree from Yale in economics and political sciences. He has done articles on climate agreements, climate goals, and the recent COP26 agreement. I think he is one of the best researchers to take on these hard hitting environmental science issues. Also Steven shared the pulitzer prize for his climate change series 2C: Beyond the limit, lending more credibility to his words about environmental impacts affecting us all. In addition he speaks some Chinese, which will allow him to feel the tones set by government officials in that he studies.