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: Measuring phosphorus loss from Midwest crop fields

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

Measuring phosphorus loss from Midwest crop fields

2 hours ago

Field runoff from farms in the Lake Erie basin is often rich in soluble plant nutrients, including phosphorus. When this nutrient-rich runoff reaches the lake, the phosphorus can support abundant algal blooms ...

FACT CHECK: Both sides in Keystone XL debate bend facts

15 hours ago

Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf, say the privately funded, $8 billion project is a critically needed piece of infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs ...

Sao Paulo warns of severe water rationing

17 hours ago

Authorities in Sao Paulo, Brazil's richest state and economic hub, have warned they are considering severe water rationing if the country's worst drought in 80 years continues.

Refineries challenge EPA plan to cut emissions

19 hours ago

A rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency that aims to curb emissions from oil refineries and petrochemical manufacturers is causing tensions to flare between the agency and industry groups. The agency is reviewing ...

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

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.