Nations that are cleaning up ---- part 1!
Li Keqiang has given us the outline of how one country is governing its carbon emissions. The others may be less informative on any direct action, but China is prevaricating on many issues, as are many nations who should know better.
With Beijing and Shanghai covered in smogs, last years reduction of coal consumption by 4.7% was an obvious gut reaction, though far from enough. The worlds largest carbon emitter and its partner in crime, the US, need to perfect their double act in cutting their smoking habit.
To make our skies blue again, may be a worthy aim of the Chinese Premier, but the Chinese Peoples Congress beginning yesterday should produce more data on how this could be achieved, although luckily, he actually magicked the correctly-coloured sky for the occasion. Renewable energy resources have cause problems in China with many environmentally-destructive giant dams, so manipulating emissions from the numerous coal-fired power stations is not the answer to Chinese air quality. Wasting new solar and wind installations because they are not integrated into the grid is yet another problem.
An increased transparency with large amounts of online monitoring will improve matters. The actual hard work of switching off the fossil fuels is a greater task. PM 2.5 particles need a 25% reduction by this year, according to Beijings own targets. This means that older and diesel vehicles need to be taken off the road, as is happening in many of our cities in at least some countries.
The SO2 levels as well as those dangerous nitrogen oxides from diesel engines will be cut by only 3% according to the Premier. City residents will still feel the need to wear those ubiquitous face masks and install many more air filters if that is all that can quickly be accomplished.
We all have these problems in both big cities and also in the rural areas where children could be exposed to fumes of many kinds, but especially those from engines and power stations. Here is a review of Chinas
greening: China Comes Clean (Legally at Least.)
Lets hope that every nation can have some representative like Mr Li who at least holds himself responsible for improving the situation, instead of denying the need for action altogether. The future needs to be bright with new technologies, not lumbered with fumes and their global warming effects for centuries.