At the recent UN talks in Warsaw, China criticized Japan and the European Union for their lack of initiative in combating their carbon emissions, which is pretty insane. It’s like if Xi Jinping were to criticize New Zealand’s food safety policies (oh wait). Bloomberg reports:
Su Wei, who is China’s lead climate negotiator at the UN talks in Warsaw today, said reports that Japan will scale back its ambitions to cut greenhouse gases are deeply concerning. He said the 28-nation EU is on target to surpass its goal and ought to be pledging more action.
“I don’t have any words to describe my dismay at that announcement forthcoming,” Su told reporters in Warsaw yesterday, speaking of the Japanese announcement. On Europe, he said, “There’s no ambition at all. They talk about ratcheting up ambition, but rather they would have to ratchet up to ambition from zero ambition.”
The comments indicate the depth of distrust developing nations including China have toward industrialized nations at the talks. The richer countries promised in 1997 to scale back the emissions blamed for damaging the Earth’s atmosphere by 5.2 percent from 1990 levels by 2012. While preliminary data indicate they’ve mostly met those goals, they haven’t yet detailed steps beyond 2020 to scale back heat-trapping gases.
Japan on Friday is likely to announce it will aim to reduce greenhouse gases by 3.8 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, according to the environmental group WWF. That reduction would equate to a 3.1 percent increase since 1990, WWF said in a statement released in Warsaw. It estimates that Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 were 7 percent higher than in 1990. Japanese delegates in Warsaw couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
To be fair (even though we don’t want to because making fun of China’s pollution is endlessly entertaining), Su’s criticisms of Japan are fairly valid, even if they’re the equivalent of a 20-pack-a-day smoker scolding someone for taking one drag off a cigarette.
So we guess it’s now slightly hypocritical for Japan to point fingers at China’s ineffective pollution policies.
We just hope China doesn’t use this as yet another excuse not to deal with their cataclysmic smog problem, as the go-to solution for many problems in China – smog, food safety, etc. – appears to be shifting attention elsewhere.
But criticizing Europe while they’re on the verge of achieving their goal for carbon emissions? How does that make any sense? Our only explanation is Su’s mind became so addled by PM2.5 particulates that he misinterpreted improving carbon emissions as increasing carbon emissions. And so yeah, in that case, Europe definitely failed. And China is the undisputed champion.