International cooperation is needed to stop developed nations simply offloading defunct electronics on developing countries, argue Zhaohua Wang, Bin Zhang and Dabo Guan.

Original Source

A revised estimate of Chinese carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement production is presented, based on updated energy consumption and clinker production data and two new sets of measured emission factors for Chinese coal.

China committed itself to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy (the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of GDP) by 40–45% during 2005–2020. Yet, between 2002 and 2009, China experienced a 3% increase in carbon intensity, though trends differed greatly among its 30 provinces. Decomposition analysis shows that sectoral efficiency gains in nearly all provinces were offset by movement towards a more carbon-intensive economic structure.

Reliable statistics are important for both climate science and international negotiations about emission-reduction targets. However, China is often questioned in terms of its data transparency and accuracy. Now researchers have compiled the carbon dioxide emission inventories for China and its 30 provinces for the period 1997–2010, and found a 1.4 gigatonne discrepancy between national and provincial inventories in 2010.

There are clear signs that China feels challenged to take a quantitative emission cap in a post-Kyoto world and expects developed nations to lead on emission reduction, a view that was clearly expressed by Chinese authorities in Copenhagen. However, we think China carries part of the responsibility of global climate change and is capable to offer more.