China - Climate - Dirty neighbor
Farmer Han Fangyun walks through a field of carrots in this 2007 image. He believes his neighbor, a giant coal fired power plant, is to blame. After the plant came, pollenation of his fruit trees and corn fields failed. Linfen is one of the most polluted areas in the world.
For years, China has resisted any outside pressure to curb their greenhouse gas emissions, citing their need and right to develop their economy. USA and China are the biggest carbon polluters in the world, and with both nations absent from international climate agreements, earlier climate negotiations have ended in toothless compromises.
That could change with the COP21 Climate Conference in Paris. Already in December last year, both China and USA announced joint commitment to reduce emissions and increase renewable energy to 20 percent by 2030. China already has a substantial carbon trading system in place, second only to EU, and today (Sep 25th 2015) President Xi Jinping of China announced how their cap-and-trade system can help to halt their growth of emissions by 2030.
Speaking to Rolling Stone Magazine one year ago, Dan Dudeck (VP of the Environmental Defense Fund) said "If China is successful in using market forces to cap carbon and transform its economy, that may be the best shot we have to limit climate change."