China's ecological footprint continues to grow

Nov 15, 2010
People look at crystal ornaments made by the firm Swarovski at a shopping mall in Beijing. The spread of consumerism among China's burgeoning middle class is behind the rapid growth of the Asian giant's environmental footprint, a conservation group said Monday.

The spread of consumerism among China's burgeoning middle class is behind the rapid growth of the Asian giant's environmental footprint, a conservation group said Monday.

Demand for construction, transport, goods and public services are the key factors behind ballooning carbon emissions, the World Wildlife Fund said in its annual "China " report.

"The growth in the carbon footprint is particularly associated with in wealthier provinces," it said.

accounted for 54 percent of China's ecological footprint in 2007 and the country needed more than two times its own biologically productive land area to meet demand for resources and to absorb emissions, it said.

"The predominance of carbon as the major component of ecological footprint is not expected to change based on current development patterns," the report warned.

The paper, released in conjunction with the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a government-backed advisory body, was based on 2007 data.

It defined "ecological footprint" as the amount of stress a country places on world ecosystems.

The report was released as the United Nations prepares for its annual climate change summit in Mexico later this month, aimed at forging a deal on tackling global warming.

China overtook the United States in recent years as the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, as its economy has roared ahead to become the world's second biggest.

But China has refused to commit to cutting emissions outright, saying it would unfairly hurt its economic development.

The United States and other developed countries have urged China to commit to emission cut targets as part of a planned post-2012 treaty on global warming to replace the .

instead pledged last year to slow the growth in those emissions by reducing energy consumption per unit of GDP by 40-45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, essentially a vow of greater energy efficiency.

Explore further: China insists wealthy countries should improve emission targets

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why 'Made in China' should increase our carbon footprint

Oct 19, 2007

Nearly a quarter of China's carbon emissions are created by goods manufactured and exported to Western consumers, according to research by University of Sussex climate change analysts Dr Tao Wang and Dr Jim Watson.

China to surpass U.S. emissions levels

Nov 07, 2006

The International Energy Agency says China will surpass the United States in carbon dioxide emissions by 2009, about a decade ahead of previous predictions.

China: rich nations must cut emissions by 40 pct

May 22, 2009

(AP) -- Wealthy nations, as history's biggest polluters, should cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, China says in a policy document on climate change. The government also rolled out fresh ...

Recommended for you

Rio's Olympic golf course in legal bunker

Sep 18, 2014

The return of golf to the Olympics after what will be 112 years by the time Rio hosts South America's first Games in 2016 comes amid accusations environmental laws were got round to build the facility in ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

omatumr
1 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2010
This new, short video explains how government science really works.

Real Science vs Federal Science Elitism

http://www.youtub...ld5PR4ts

Questions and comments would be appreciated.

With kind regards
Oliver K. Manuel
Emeritus Professor
Nuclear & Space Sciences
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo