China is now the world's biggest polluter

China is number one, in greenhouse gas emissions that is. A report from the University of California says that Chinas greenhouse gas emissions have been "underestimated" and that the country probably took the number one position from USA in 2006-2007.

According to the research "unchecked future growth will dwarf any emissions cuts made by rich nations under the Kyoto Protocol."

Dr Auffhammer, lead researcher, said in an interview with BBC that:

"Our figures for emissions growth are truly shocking. But there is no sense pointing a finger at the Chinese. They are trying to pull people out of poverty and they clearly need help. The only solution is for a massive transfer of technology and wealth from the West."

And he is of course correct. A large part of the western industries have moved to China and other development and low-cost countries. China, for example, produces the gadgets, clothes and other stuff that we, in the western world, consume.

It also doesn't really matter if China is the top carbon polluter in the world. They still have a low per capita levels of pollution compared to USA. USA's per capita levels are around five to six times higher than China.

The UN insists "that rich countries with high per capita levels of pollution must cut emissions first, and help poorer countries to invest in clean technology."

And just like Dr Auffhammer said, China and the other development countries are just doing it the same way we did when we become developed countries. It is of course sad and extremely bad that China is now polluting the most. But emissions in USA, Europe and elsewhere are still growing. Not a single developed country today is doing enough, so why should the poorer countries be held responsible?


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Simon Leufstedt
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Guest Jennae Petersen

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I'm not sad for the U.S. to lose this particular designation. But collectively, we are still a bunch of wasteful polluters who haven't even begun to undo the damage we've done to the planet.

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Guest Rockaroo

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Shopping is almost impossible when trying to purchase items not from China, so frustrating. I feel that I'm just another number who gives into the demand. Money overrides responsibility for this planet.

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