China is now facing the problem of how to combat the challenges of global warming. Being the world leader in both economic growth and carbon emissions, it is very hard for China to fight global warming, while simultaneously, not harming its robust economy.
The world’s biggest global exporter of manufactured goods, China, is also the world’s largest importer of tropical woods and the largest producer of cement. Although the benefits of China’s economic expansion have been great, the environmental impact has been immense too.
In 2006, it was discovered that all 10 of the world’s most polluted cities were in China.
Although China has invested largely in alternative energy systems, its main source of fuel is still coal. According to the World Bank, China’s polluted water and air result in about 750,000 premature deaths each year.
Moreover, due to the country’s size and influence, China’s environmental concerns are no longer simply its own. China has overtaken the United States, becoming the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases that lead to global warming.
In 2006, it was estimated that China emitted approximately 6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, approximately one-fifth of the world’s total.
Even though China’s per capita emissions are currently very low, it is expected that they may rise significantly as an estimated 350 million people move from the countryside to the cities over the next 20 years.
It is predicted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences that during that time, the country’s CO2 emissions may double or more unless dramatic measures are taken.
Recently, the Chinese government has given even more attention to the challenges of combating climate change. But the question is, that who should bear the responsibility of the CO2 emissions, because including all the western countries as well, today almost all the countries rely on productions from China.