Archive for the ‘emissions’ Category

China’s coal fires belch fumes, worsening global warming

November 16, 2008

The barren hillsides give a hint of the inferno underfoot. White smoke billows from cracks in the earth, venting a sulfurous rotten smell into the air. The rocky ground is hot to the touch, and heat penetrates the soles of shoes.

Tourists walk through heavy fog over Tiananmen Square in Beijing ...
Tourists walk through heavy fog over Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 2007. China warned its heavy dependence on coal to fuel its fast-growing economy made it difficult to control greenhouse gas emissions, but said fighting global warming remained imperative.(AFP/File/Teh Eng Koon)

Beneath some rocks, an eerie red glow betrays an unseen hell: the epicenter of a severe underground coal fire.

“Don’t stay too long,” warned Ma Ping , a retired coal miner. “The gases are poisonous.”

Another miner tugs on the sleeve of a visitor.

“You can cook a potato here,” said Zhou Ningsheng, his face still black from a just-finished shift, as he pointed to a vent in the earth. “You can see with your own eyes.”

China has the worst underground coal fires of any country on Earth. The fires destroy as much as 20 million tons of coal annually, nearly the equivalent of Germany’s entire annual production. The costs go beyond the waste of a valuable fuel, however.

Scientists blame uncontrolled coal fires as a significant source of greenhouse gases, which lead to global warming. Unnoticed by most people, the coal fires can burn for years — even decades and longer — seeping carbon dioxide, methane and other gases that warm the atmosphere.

“Coal fires are a disaster for all of humanity. And it’s only due to global warming that people are finally beginning to pay attention,” said Guan Haiyan, a coal fire expert at Shenhua Remote Sensing and Geo-engineering Co.

By Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers

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Cyclists passes through thick pollution from a factory in Yutian, ... 
Cyclists passes through thick pollution from a factory in Yutian, China.(AFP/File/Peter Parks)

China Wants West to Fund its Environmental Cleanup

November 9, 2008

You paid for it at Wall Mart but China had to destroy the envoronment to make it.  Now China wants your money to overhaul and clean the mess that’s left in the environment….


China is trying to persuade rich nations to finance its fight against climate change just as the developed world is tightening its purse strings.

The Chinese government used a two-day conference in Beijing, which ended Saturday, to trumpet proposals for rich economies to devote up to 1 percent of their gross domestic product to help developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

By Chris O’Brien
The Washington Times
November 9, 2008 

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attends the opening ceremony for the Beijing high-level conference on climate change held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. (Associated Press)

Above: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attends the opening ceremony for the Beijing high-level conference on climate change held at the Great Hall of the People on Friday (Associated Press photo)

“The developed countries have a responsibility and an obligation to respond to global climate change by altering their unsustainable way of life,” Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao told representatives of 76 nations.

China has been quick to grab the initiative in global climate change talks, wary of pressure over its own ballooning emissions.

Scientists say China has already overtaken the United States as the world’s biggest polluter. The Chinese government did not refer to this in a recent white paper, but a senior official admitted for the first time that China’s total emissions were “about the same as the United States.”

“Whether or not we have surpassed the United States is not in itself important,” Xie Zhenhua, a deputy chief of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told the conference.

The timing of the meeting was significant. A major United Nations climate change conference is to be held in the Polish city of Poznan in December. Negotiators will continue a quest to agree on a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

The Chinese government recognizes the urgent need to tackle the repercussions of its explosive, and ultimately unsustainable, industrial growth. State media has widely reported that climate change is causing crop failure and increasing the risks of flooding and drought. Environment-related protests are also on the rise.

However, the central government insists that it is not prepared to impede economic progress through the implementation of environmental measures.

Instead, China is demanding that rich nations set aside between 0.7 percent and 1 percent of their GDP to help poorer nations cut emissions. That amounts to more than $300 billion a year from the Group of Seven countries. The bulk of the money would be used to transfer advanced technology to combat climate change.

Fouling our nest - 'bird's nest' stadium, Beijing by Sibad.
Above: The “Bird’s Nest” or China’s National Stadium, built for this summer’s Olympics, is covered in pollution…

China: Your Worst Environmental Nighmare
China: 70% of waterways and 90% of underground water polluted
China is the World’s E-Waste Dumping Ground

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Top polluters look to different emissions targets: Japan

March 16, 2008

MAKUHARI, Japan (AFP) – Twenty major greenhouse gas emitting nations agreed Sunday on “shared but differentiated responsibility” to fight global warming amid a gap between rich and poor states, host Japan said.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (L) shakes hands with ... 
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (L) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda pror to their talks at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo, on March 14. The world’s top 20 greenhouse gas emitters agreed Sunday to work together to draft a successor to the Kyoto Protocol but rich and developing nations remained divided on their roles.(AFP/Pool/Dai Kurokawa)

Envoys from the 20 countries, whose greenhouse gas emissions account for about 80 percent of the global total, wrapped up two days of talks hoping to jumpstart negotiations on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

“We reconfirmed the principle of common but differentiated responsibility in negotiating the next deal for 2013 and onward,” said Japan‘s environment minister Ichiro Kamoshita, the meeting’s co-chair.

“It was made clear that there are a variety of positions among developed countries, emerging countries and developing countries,” Kamoshita told a news conference after talks ended.

Developing countries have insisted that they not be held up to the same targets as wealthy nations in reducing greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

There are also disagreements among rich nations. The United States has shunned the Kyoto Protocol, whose obligations end in 2012, saying it is unfair by making no demands of developing nations.

Japan in July hosts the Group of Eight summit of rich nations which it hopes will make progress in the UN-backed goal of drafting Kyoto‘s successor by the end of next year.

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China’s carbon (And Coal and Pollution) Dragon

February 22, 2008

The Christian Science Monitor
February 22, 2008
Try this statistic on for size: If China’s economy continues to grow at its current pace, and the Asian giant doesn’t cut its rate of energy use, by 2030 it could be emitting as much carbon into the atmosphere as the entire world does today.

Beijing is rushing to make its air clean for the 2008 Olympics, but experts say it will be impossible for the site to be totally safe for athletes at the global sporting event. 

And here’s another: As you read this, China is bringing on line coal-fired power plants – major sources of greenhouse-gas emissions – at the mind-boggling rate of two per week.

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China: Despite Pledge of Clean Energy, Coal is Number One Source

December 26, 2007

BEIJING (AFP) – China reiterated Wednesday its long-term dependence on coal for energy, but pledged to step up efforts to burn the fuel more cleanly to reduce its impact on global warming.

In its first white paper on energy, the Chinese government also vowed to develop sustainable energy industries, and said its booming demand for fuel would not pose a threat to world energy security.

“China did not, does not and will not pose any threat to the world’s energy security,” said the non-binding position paper issued by the State Council, China’s cabinet.

Amid global concerns that future Chinese demand for resources could lead to supply and price pressures, the nation said….
A cyclist riding past a coal-fired smokestsack chimney, emitting ... 

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China vows to develop clean energies

 BEIJING – China promised Wednesday to develop renewable energy for its fast-growing economy but warned that coal consumption will grow dramatically and avoided embracing binding limits on its greenhouse gas emissions.


In a report on its energy plans, the government announced no new initiatives but said it wants to curb reliance on oil and gas to drive an economy that is the world’s second-biggest energy consumer after the United States.

“China gives top priority to developing renewable energy,” said the 44-page report released by the Cabinet’s press office.

The report said Beijing will promote hydroelectric, nuclear, solar and wind energy, as well natural gas extracted from garbage dumps and coal mines

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China’s emissions drop but situation grim

August 21, 2007

BEIJING (Reuters) – China, the world’s top emitter of sulphur dioxide, has managed to cut emissions of the acid-rain causing pollutant in first half of 2007, but the government said on Tuesday that meeting national targets would be tough.

China has promised to cut emissions of major pollutants by 10 percent between 2006 and 2010, but last year the country failed to meet the annual target.

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Beijing’s Pollution Rises in 4-Day Test Of Restricted Driving

August 21, 2007

By Maureen Fan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, August 21, 2007; Page A10

BEIJING, Aug. 20 — Despite a move by authorities to slash the number of motorists in Beijing by more than a million during a pre-Olympics pollution test, the city’s skies remained a hazy white Monday evening and pollution levels showed a slight increase over the four-day trial period, Beijing’s Environmental Protection Bureau said.

A top Chinese environmental official attributed the increase to humid weather and said pollution levels had been higher just before the test began.

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China is one of the world's most-polluted countries. Most of the fine dust that pollutes Beijing comes from industry in the nearby Heibei province.

If all that pollution is not from the cars, how on earth is it produced?