Chinese pledge to cut emissions for dangerous smog not tackle climate change
A Chinese pledge to upgrade the nation’s coal-fired power plants to cut pollution is aimed mainly at soothing domestic fears over dangerous smog, rather than tackling climate change emissions, analysts said on Thursday.
Beijing: A Chinese pledge to upgrade the nation’s coal-fired power plants to cut pollution is aimed mainly at soothing domestic fears over dangerous smog, rather than tackling climate change emissions, analysts said on Thursday.
With negotiating teams locked in crucial talks in Paris, China’s state council announced plans to reduce by 60 per cent the amount of “major pollutants” coming from its coal-fired power plants by 2020.
That should save around 100 million tonnes of raw coal and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 180 million tonnes annually, it said on its website. The statement did not, however, specify which pollutants will be cut, and gave no baseline against which the reduction will be measured.
But observers said “major pollutants” likely refers to the particulate matter that makes up the choking smog that has blanketed swathes of China over the past week — many of which are not considered direct drivers of global warming.
China is the world’s biggest emitter of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, and a crucial player in this month’s global gathering in Paris, where nations are trying to thrash out a plan to limit dangerous global warming.
But a 180 million tonnes annual cut in carbon emissions is a drop in the ocean for an economy that produced nine- to ten billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2013 — nearly twice what the United States generated.
No car use in helsinki by 2050
For years this port city on the edge of the Baltic has been considered one of the greenest in Europe. Now Helsinki wants to go a step further and make cars unnecessary by 2050.
Helsinkians take great pride in their relatively small, maritime capital with a population of just over 6,00,000. But the city is anticipating a dramatic population boom over the next few years and needs to be able to comfortably accommodate its new arrivals. While cars will not be banned, the city will do what it can to discourage people from using them.