Spanish – The thick black cloud that covers China contradicts the environmental commitments made by President Xi Jinping, signed in the Paris Agreement, and now requires other nations to comply.
At a virtual meeting of the G20 this weekend, the communist leader insisted on “full and effective implementation” of the agreements that oblige the 125 member countries to reduce carbon dioxide concentrations by 2030, according to EFE, but his initiatives are moving in the opposite direction.
The petition is released while the “Asian nation plans to build 22 new coal-fired power plants, one of the most damaging sources of energy,” notes ABC.
It is estimated that these plants would emit almost the same amount of carbon dioxide as all the cars sold each year in the United States, the publication reports.
But this state of affairs was not part of Xi Jinping‘s speech. He said that his country is striving to “accelerate the growth of new, greener energy industries,” justifying that “in the last five years, China has led the production and sales of new energy vehicles.”
An ambiguous request
“More cooperation” is another of the requests raised by the Chinese president, according to EFE. He hopes the support will be directed at reducing land degradation, conserving coral reefs, and cleaning up plastic from the oceans.
But he complimented his requests by reiterating that “China will continue to uphold the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open, and inclusive multilateral trading system.”
This position raises doubts about the success of the promises. According to Infobae, “until China changes its production and development model, it will be almost impossible to meet the millennium goals.”
So far, absolute emissions “are increasing due to the boom in its manufacturing capacity and its demand for consumer goods abroad,” and the “pace is too slow” to produce renewable energy, Infobae points out.
The 39% reduction of the budget for renewable energies during the first half of 2019 and the 6% increase in the extraction of coal reveal its contradictory tendency with the vociferous measures.
More dangerous than the European Union
“The amount of carbon dioxide China releases into the atmosphere for each of its inhabitants is greater than that of the 28 European Union countries combined,” the BBC revealed in 2017.
Pollution alerts are part of daily life in the nation where the use of masks was imposed before the COVID-19 pandemic to combat air impurities that, according to the BBC, exceed “500 times over” what is considered “dangerous” while one million deaths are recorded due to air pollution, reveals National Geographic.
PM 2.5 particles are the most dangerous in that nation. These are a mixture of organic chemicals, soot, metals, and dust that enter the body through respiration and can reach the circulatory system.
To retain 410,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, China invested 129 million USD in a plant to transform coal into gas.
This pilot project in Shaanxi Province has come late, considering the work already done by 17 countries, including Brazil, the United States, Canada, Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
China’s goal is to transport recycled gas to its oil fields in Qiaojiawa, 140 kilometers away, to replace heat with gas injection in the oil deposits.
The plan has detractors because “seeing carbon capture as a more feasible solution than the adoption of renewable energy in achieving green targets for 2020 or 2050 allows the continued use of gas and coal.”
The most dangerous
Currently, Tangshan is the center of heavy industry and coal burning in the Asian country, according to NG review.
In this city that produces cement, chemicals, and more than 5% of the world’s steel, “trucks loaded with big rolls of steel are parked on roadsides.”
The title of being the “world’s landfill” is based on “the polluting particles that remain in the air and are transported to other places by the wind and storms. Food is contaminated, and so is the water of the oceans.”
Despite this, “some people may think that pollution in China is very far away, but the truth is that any type of pollution anywhere ends up affecting much of the planet,” reports the website specializing in environmental issues TW Energy.
According to research by Texas A&M University, it is estimated that “pollution in China may be altering the storms in the Pacific, making them more intense and changing their path, influencing the climate of the planet,” reports TW Energy.
Unstable conditions persist
Contamination levels in China reduced initially during the coronavirus lockdown but rose again after stricter measures were relaxed, Niudiario reported.
“There are clear signs that China’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis is reversing improvements in air quality,” says the report by the Clean Air and Energy Research Center (CREA) released here.
According to the report, the lockdown had a “dramatic impact” on gasoline consumption and air quality in the 30 days following the Chinese New Year festivities in late January.
In February, the national average of PM 2.5 particulate matter levels fell by 33 percent, while nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels fell by 40 percent.
With the return to activities, the that “levels of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and fine particles increased.”
This means a “dirty recovery led by the most highly polluting sectors,” says Niudiario.
A critical agreement
In a brief speech recorded at the White House, Donald Trump, president of the United States, participated in the G20 region to defend his handling of environmental issues.
The message focused on strongly condemning the Paris Agreement, from which he withdrew the U.S. and to which Joe Biden has promised to return. According to EFE, Trump claims that this pact “was designed to kill the U.S. economy.”
“I refuse to hand over millions of American jobs and send billions of dollars to the world’s worst polluters and environmental transgressors, and that’s what would have happened,” he added.
His Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, took part in the G20 Leaders’ Summit and, in his virtual speech, said that his government “will preserve and protect the Amazon and the Pantanal,” two biomes that have been hit hard this year by deforestation and fires, reported EFE.