NEW DELHI — Even for a city considered one of the world’s dirtiest, the Indian capital hit a new low this week.
Air so dirty you can taste and smell it; a gray haze that makes a gentle stroll a serious health hazard.
According to one advocacy group, government data shows that the smog that enveloped the city midweek was the worst in the last 17 years. The concentration of PM2.5, tiny particulate pollution that can clog lungs, averaged close to 700 micrograms per cubic meter. That’s 12 times the government norm and a whopping 70 times the WHO standards.
Yet many of the problems that make Delhi’s air toxic continue. People set off massive amounts of festival fireworks, piles of garbage burn, and farmers in bordering regions continue to burn crop waste.
China Pledges 18-Percent Carbon Emissions Cut by 2020
BEIJING — China’s cabinet issued a new climate plan targeting an 18-percent cut in carbon emissions by 2020 compared to 2015 levels, the same day that the Paris Agreement of nearly 200 countries took effect.
Under the new State Council plan announced Friday, coal consumption must be capped at about 4.2 billion tons in 2020 while non-fossil fuel energy generation capacity like hydropower and nuclear power are expanded to 15 percent share of China’s total capacity.
China has taken a leading role in climate change talks and its collaboration with the United States has been touted by Washington and Beijing as a bright spot in an otherwise strained relationship.
China will guarantee that emissions peak no later than 2030 under the Paris pact. There are also plans to officially launch a national carbon trading market next year.
In recent years, China has become a world leader in renewable energy investment and installation of new wind and solar power capacity, but efforts by the central government to break away from coal consumption have been frustrating at times.
Even after Beijing declared a “war on pollution,” hundreds of new coal power plants were approved for construction in 2015 by local governments keen to buoy their economies.
Central economic planners earlier this year declared a halt on new approvals for coal plants. Energy officials went a step further last month when they declared a construction freeze on scores of partially-built plants across more than a dozen provinces, garnering praise from environmental groups like Greenpeace.
Hinkley Point was born a decade ago, when the world energy order was entirely different
Peace and Freedom comment: China views compliance with climate change as a jobs building project. Many in the west see climate change as something that will destroy good paying jobs….
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