UN Climate Chief Praises China For Fighting Global Warming

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres is once again extolling the virtues of communist China’s environmental agenda, which pushes for more green energy production.

China “understands that this is what is coming down the pike, this is where job creation is,” Figueres told The Associated Press in an interview about the U.N.’s push to get an international agreement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Figueres warned that if countries don’t start ditching fossil fuels in favor of green energy soon, there will be no stopping the world from warming more than two degrees Celsius by the end of the century — assuming scientists’ predictions are right. She sold reducing CO2 emissions as a platform for economic growth.

“Why would the United States industry want to leave the opportunity of growth?” Figueres said. “And the opportunity to export the technology? Because all countries are turning to renewable energy.”

“Why would the United States want to leave that to China?” she said.

The irony, however, is that while China is planning on using more green energy, the country also has plans on using way more fossil fuels. The country plans to drastically increase — not decrease — its carbon emissions.

Last year, China’s State Council released a report saying it would get 20 percent of its energy from “non-fossil fuel” sources by 2030 — which could be made up of hydroelectric, wind, solar, geothermal or nuclear power. But that same report details how the country will use more coal and natural gas.

“Annual coal consumption will be held below 4.2 billion tonnes until 2020, 16.3 percent more than the 3.6 billion tonnes burned last year,” the State Council reported last year.

“The share of natural gas will be raised to above 10 percent and that of coal will be reduced to under 62 percent,” the council reported. “Production of both shale gas and coal-bed methane could reach 30 billion cubic meters by 2020.”

Despite China’s heavy use of fossil fuels, this is not the first time Figueres has praised the country for its efforts on global warming. Last year, Figueres said China was “doing it right” when it came to fighting global warming.

“They actually want to breathe air that they don’t have to look at,” she said. “They’re not doing this because they want to save the planet. They’re doing it because it’s in their national interest.”

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Tags : associated press china christiana figueres united nations
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