A new study has forecast China’s carbon emissions to accelerate further in 2018, despite Beijing’s highly-publicised efforts to switch to greener energy sources and policies.
The study, conducted by US environmental charity Greenpeace, showed that China’s carbon emissions rose 4% in 2018 Q1. Should this rate persist for the remainder of the year, then it would be the fastest yearly increase for China in seven years.
China is already the world’s largest emitter, contributing to over one-quarter of global CO2 production. As the Financial Times reports, the recovery of the Chinese economy in 2017 boosted global emissions which had begun to flatline in the two years previous.
The study was based on Beijing’s own data, casting doubt on the efficacy and seriousness of the government’s anti-pollution policies. Repeated talk of improving air quality and shifting from coal to natural gas may seem cheap if this accelerating trend continues. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that China was also considering upping its coal imports from the US to help it reduce the countries’ trade imbalance.