China gets it: The future belongs to low carbon industries

Fri, 2010-02-12 09:50Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

China gets it: The future belongs to low carbon industries

The international fight on climate change is a contest for economic development space, China’s chief climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua said recently.

Xie, who is also China’s vice-minister for the National Development and Reform commission, said:

“Countries with low-carbon industries will have a developmental advantage. Some people believe this is a global competition as significant as the space race in the cold war. “

This, woefully, is a message lost on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is fighting to keep Canada “an emerging energy superpower” devoted to one of the most carbon-intensive energy industries on earth.

Hmmm? I wonder who’s going to come out ahead here?

Previous Comments

It’s interesting to go to the linked story at Bloomberg.com where it states:

“On Sept. 1, PetroChina Co., China’s largest oil company, bought its first stake in the Canadian oil sands, paying C$1.9 billion ($1.81 billion) for 60 percent of a project run by Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.”

If the Chinese are buying into tar sands oil, then they’re not really walking the walk of a cleaner, greener energy future, at least not yet. Try as I might to be optimistic, I can’t get over the fact that most countries are gobbling up more dirty energy, regardless of what they’re saying at Copenhagen.

It could be that most, if not all, countries understand that the future belongs to low-carbon industry. Unfortunately, my guess is that China, like Canada and the US, are not quite ready to start making the transition just yet( at their own peril).

I’m sorry, but … you’re kidding, right? Zhenhua may “get it” but apparently not his country. From the very article you make reference to, another reference:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/22/copenhagen-climate-change-mark-lynas

And also, a projection of China’s C02 emissions:

http://earthtrends.wri.org/updates/node/110

If you think Zhenhua’s message is “woefully” lost on Canada, how about his own country? Judging from China’s actions, I doubt they are paying much more than lip service to “The future belongs to low carbon industries.”

Careful who you jump into bed with.