BEIJING (AFP) –on Thursday accused the developed world of hypocrisy on climate change as it defended itself against a report that said it had passed the as the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide.
Above: A man flies a kite at Tiananmen Square in Beijing as heavy pollution covers the city, Thursday Dec, 27, 2007. Pollution across China’s capital hit the top of the scale Thursday, as air quality in Beijing reached level five, which is ranked as hazardous, according to the Beijing city environmental bureau. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty). Most experts inside China say China’s air pollution is still this severe.
A Dutch government research body said Tuesday that China’s carbon dioxide emissions — the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming — surpassed those of the United States by eight percent in 2006.
Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China’s position was unsurprising because of its rapid economic growth, its massive population and that it was doing a lot of the manufacturing for richer countries.
“China is now a world factory. The developed countries moved a lot of manufacturing industries to China,” Qin told reporters.
“A lot of things you wear and you eat are produced in China. On the one hand you increase the production in China, and the other hand you criticise China on the emission reduction issue, so it is unfair.”
Qin insisted that China was trying to deal with the issue, but repeated that China was classed as a developing country under theand was therefore not obliged to cut its .
“I’m not sure about how the scientists calculated the costs, but I can tell you that the Chinese government has a responsible and serious attitude to make joint efforts with the international community to curb climate change,” he said.
“The emission of China is large, but China has a large population, the emission per capita is low.”
In a pointed remark to where Tuesday’s report originated, Qin said: “The per capita emission inis three times the per capita emission in China.”
Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP) said China’s emissions increased by nine percent in 2006 compared with its 2005 output. In the United States emissions rose 1.4 percent from 2005 to 2006.
A few years ago the International Energy Agency predicted that China would overtake the United States as the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions by 2010.
Earlier this year, the IEA’s chief economist Faith Birol revised the estimate, saying the large number of factories and new cars could make it the number one culprit in climate change this year.