China is both the best and worst hope for clean energy

China is both the best and worst hope for clean energy

In Katowice, Poland, delegates from around the world have gathered to discuss how to curb emissions of greenhouse gases. The intent is to meet the goals that emerged from the 2015 Paris United Nations Climate Summit. But this year there’s a new top dog at the table.

The United States, led by a president who doesn’t believe in climate change or the scientists who study it, will take a back seat. Meanwhile China, with its massive economy and growing green energy sector, has become the world’s climate leader.

That might seem like a good thing if it weren’t for a couple of problems. China is the world’s biggest carbon polluter, and its emissions won’t start easing for many years. Chinese leaders are also exporting dirty energy around the world through their “belt and road” development program, which is spurring economic growth throughout Africa and Southeast Asia. A construction boom in coal-fired power plants has accompanied that growth in places like Vietnam, Pakistan and Kenya, for example.

Source: Wired

Date: December 2018

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