Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Climate change: Hope

Among all the bad news about melting ice-caps and foot-dragging governments, some hope: China's emissions may peak by 2025:

China’s greenhouse gas emissions will probably peak in 2025, five years earlier than its stated target, a study said on Monday, in a boost for hopes to curb climate change.

On current trends, the world’s biggest carbon emitter will discharge 12.5-14bn tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) in 2025, after which emissions will decline, it said.

The work was carried out by two research institutes at the London School of Economics (LSE).

“Analysing trends in the key emitting sectors, we conclude that China’s greenhouse gas emissions are unlikely to peak as late as 2030, the upper limit set by President Xi Jinping in November 2014, and are much more likely to peak by 2025,” said the paper, co-authored by climate economist Nicholas Stern and analyst Fergus Green.

“They could peak even earlier than that.”

China's coal use has already peaked; its other industries are likely to follow as it pushes for lower emissions. And meanwhile, our government drags its feet, and won't even commit to a credible responsibility target, let alone actually do something to cut emissions. You'd almost think that John Key and Tim Groser wanted the world to burn...