According to a study published on May 6 by New York-based research firm Rhodium Group, China released more greenhouse gases (GHG) than the United States and all other developed countries combined in 2019.
According to the survey, China alone was responsible for more than 27 percent of total global emissions, with the United States a distant second at 11 percent. India came in third with 6.6 percent, led by the European Union’s 27-country bloc at 6.4 percent.
According to the survey, China’s emissions in 2019 totaled nearly 14.1 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalents, more than tripling 1990 levels and representing a 25% increase over the previous decade.In 2019, global emissions surpassed 52 gigatonnes.
Furthermore, China’s per capita emissions hit 10.1 tonnes in 2019, up nearly threefold over the previous two decades, according to the survey. The figure was marginally lower than the 10.5 tonnes per capita average found in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 37 member countries (OECD).
“While final global data for 2020 is not yet available, we expect China’s per capita emissions to surpass the OECD average in 2020, as China’s net GHG emissions rose about 1.7 percent while emissions from almost all other nations fell sharply in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the study.
China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal. According to data from the San Francisco-based NGO Global Energy Monitor, China had 1,082 coal-fired power plants operational in January of this year. Furthermore, China is constructing 92 more stations, with another 135 in the planning stages.
Meanwhile, Beijing has been funding fossil-fuel ventures in countries that have joined China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI, also known as “One Belt, One Road”). According to the non-profit Council on Foreign Relations in New York, China was involved in 240 coal plants in these countries in 2016.
“BRI’s investments in fossil fuels would make fighting climate change more difficult,” the non-profit concluded.
According to the AFP, Beijing has locked BRI countries into a “coal-consuming energy future,” with ongoing Chinese coal ventures in countries such as Zimbabwe and Pakistan.
BRI is a 2013 investment project launched by Beijing to develop trade routes connecting China and the rest of the world.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) took to Twitter in response to the Rhodium Group study, warning against collaborating with Beijing on climate change.
“Communist China is the world’s worst polluter, and we can’t expect it to change its ways,” Scott wrote.
“Addressing our changing environment needs real solutions, but we can’t pretend that toothless deals with mega-polluters like Communist China will advance that work,” he added.
Following a visit to China by US Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry in April, the two countries agreed to work together to combat climate change. Kerry’s trip was slammed by many Republican senators, including Scott, who called it a waste of time.
Days after Kerry’s trip, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke at a US-led climate summit on April 22, saying that China would “strictly restrict” its coal consumption from 2021 to 2025, and then phase it down over the next five years. Xi also reaffirmed his previous promise, made in September of last year, that China would be carbon neutral by 2060.
Kerry was recently chastised by many Republican lawmakers for his remark in an interview with Foreign Policy.
“We disagree on economic and cyber rules.”We have disagreements on human rights and geostrategic interests, but those differences do not have to get in the way of coping with climate change, “Kerry told Foreign Policy.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s top Republican, told the New York Post that Kerry should “reconsider his goals.”
“Demanding that the CCP avoid committing genocide should not ‘get in the way’ of climate change talks, and to say that climate problems are more important than the lives of millions of poor Chinese citizens is disrespectful and improper,” McCaul said.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) perpetrated genocide and “crimes against humanity” against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, according to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, tweeted on May 6 that Kerry’s comments were “disgusting and morally false.”
“Communist China is committing genocide by imprisoning millions of # Uyghur Muslims and prosecuting many of them for crimes against humanity.”The United States can not turn a blind eye and dismiss these abuses, “Pfluger wrote.