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[greenyes] Global Warming - China Factor

When reading this article below, one thing needs to be kept in mind that is
not dealt within the piece.

It has always seemed to me that their is a very substantial difference
between stating, correctly, that an effective global warming treaty has to
include the industrializing countries, especially China, which Kyoto does
not, on the one hand, and responding by either:

(1) Concluding that nothing substantive more should be done (Bush); as
opposed to,

(2) Concluding that efforts need to be redoubled to extend Kyoto to
China at the earliest possible time (Kerry).

The Kyoto drafters were not ignorant of this issue, but rather the press to
get a treaty in motion resulted in pushing off the China issue to another


from the December 23, 2004 edition -

New coal plants bury 'Kyoto'
New greenhouse-gas emissions from China, India, and the US will swamp cuts
from the Kyoto treaty.
By Mark Clayton | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

So much for Kyoto.

The official treaty to curb greenhouse-gas emissions hasn't gone into effect
yet and already three countries are planning to build nearly 850 new
coal-fired plants, which would pump up to five times as much carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere as the Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce.

The magnitude of that imbalance is staggering. Environmentalists have long
called the treaty a symbolic rather than practical victory in the fight
against global warming. But even many of them do not appear aware of the
coming tidal wave of greenhouse-gas emissions by nations not under Kyoto

By 2012, the plants in three key countries - China, India, and the United
States - are expected to emit as much as an extra 2.7 billion tons of carbon
dioxide, according to a Monitor analysis of power-plant construction data.
In contrast, Kyoto countries by that year are supposed to have cut their CO2
emissions by some 483 million tons.

The findings suggest that critics of the treaty, including the Bush
administration, may be correct when they claim the treaty is hopelessly
flawed because it doesn't limit emissions from the developing world. But
they also suggest that the world is on the cusp of creating a huge new
infrastructure that will pump out enormous amounts of CO2 for the next six

Without strong US leadership, it's unlikely that technology to cut CO2
emissions will be ready in time for the power-plant construction boom, many

"If all those power plants are online by 2012, then obviously it completely
cancels out any gains from Kyoto," says Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeler
with the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, part of the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The reason for the dramatic imbalance is coal. Just a few years ago,
economists and environmentalists still pictured a world shifting steadily
from "dirty" coal-fired power plants to "cleaner" natural-gas turbines. But
the fast-rising price of natural gas and other factors abruptly changed that
picture. Now the world is facing a tidal wave of new power plants fired by
coal, experts say. "China and India are building coal-fired capacity as fast
as they can," says Christopher Bergesen, who tracks power plant construction
for Platts, the energy publishing division of McGraw- Hill.

China is the dominant player. The country is on track to add 562 coal-fired
plants - nearly half the world total of plants expected to come online in
the next eight years. India could add 213such plants; the US, 72. (See chart


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