China’s Climate Stonewalling Rankles EU

China won"t commit to curbing greenhouse gases, giving the U.S. an excuse to put off setting its own limits.© Getty Images

Despite optimism that China is finally starting to recognize the importance of sustainability, a top Chinese official last week shrugged off requests from the European Union (EU) to take nationwide action to curb the emission of greenhouse gases responsible for human-induced global warming.

"China, India and other developing countries are victims of the effects of climate change," China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters last week in response to a request from EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner to do more to combat global warming.

But with analysts predicting that China will unseat the U.S. later this year as the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases, the international community is becoming less tolerant of China’s lack of resolve on the issue. And meanwhile, the White House cites China’s refusal to set limits as a major factor in its own decision to avoid the issue.

It seems likely that this ongoing game of international environmental chicken will plunge the world deeper into trouble on the climate issue. Environmentalists are hoping, however, that the 2008 presidential election in the U.S. will bring some much needed sanity on the global warming front to the White House and the world. Most of the major candidates support quick action on climate change.

Source: Environmental News Network

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