Global Warming Progress? Not For All the Coal in China

The Wall $treet Journal has one of the most depressing reports I've read this year.

China's boom-time economy is producing a spike in greenhouse emissions that could undo the progress sought in the Kyoto treaty — and then some.

Just some facts:

  • China is poised to become the globe's top emitter of greenhouse gases this year, three years ahead of previous estimates.
  • In the next ten years, China will add a "European Union's worth" of coal fired power plants.
  • "Unchecked, over the next 25 years, the growth of China's greenhouse-gas emissions is forecast to double that of all the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which includes, Europe, the U.S., Canada, South Korea and Japan."

According to Faith Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, the developed world's anti-global warming efforts are essentially futile absent a strong Chinese commitment. "Without having China on board," she told the Journal, "without having them play a significant role, all these efforts, none of it, will make any sense."