Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

China’s great carbon leap backwards

  • Written by  Tom Hart
  • Published in Climate
Thermal power station in Guangzhou, China Thermal power station in Guangzhou, China GuoZhongHua / Shutterstock
22 Nov
2014
China’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are making no progress due to its rapid economic growth, says new research from the University of East Anglia

China increased its carbon intensity by three per cent during a frenetic nine-year economic growth spurt, despite government targets to reduce emissions 45 per cent by 2020.

There were wide variations between different provinces, although even those that showed slower economic growth reported up to 27 per cent net losses in carbon efficiency.

‘Capital investment creates a market demand for large-scale production expansion of cement, steel and other highly emission-intensive materials,’ said Professor Guan, a UEA researcher.

Improvements were recorded, especially in the economically advanced coastal zones where new technologies came into service, but these gains were offset by massive economic growth.

This year’s figures did indicate a five per cent drop in carbon intensity, the most significant drop for years. ‘The efficiency improvements are due to diminishing investments in emission-intensive industries,’ said Guan. ‘But this could be temporary if China cannot decouple its economic growth with emission-intensive capital investments.’

Economic development is also stressing China’s water, with 75 per cent of its lakes and rivers contaminated.

Related items

Julysub 2020

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

geo line break v3

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Wildlife

Increasing reports of seized jaguar fangs and skin suggest that…

Geophoto

Forced isolation has given many of us the chance to…

Oceans

A fifth of the ocean floor has now been mapped,…

Wildlife

Four ex-circus lions discovered in France are due to be…

Oceans

A roundup of some of the top discussions from the…

Energy

The agave plant, used to make Tequila, has proven itself…

Climate

Concerns about the ozone hole have diminished as levels of…

Wildlife

In the Eastern Cape of South Africa, Munu – a…

Geophoto

Photography competition, Earth Photo, returns for the third year with…

Oceans

A new study reveals the process behind the strange phenomenon…

Wildlife

Hunting is a topic that attracts polarised viewpoints. But as…

Oceans

A compilation of 50-years worth of data on human activity…

Wildlife

From the US to the Mediterranean, herds of goats are…

Wildlife

Meet the 2020 Whitley Award winners

Wildlife

Protecting the most famous members of the animal kingdom may…

Climate

With Milan announcing an ambitious new plan to reduce air…