China and India, the world’s most populous countries, also match each other on the scale and severity of urban air pollution. Addressing this pollution requires that governments reorient policies away from fossil fuel combustion.

The Chinese government has responded to the challenge of increasing energy consumption and environmental pollution with ambitious targets for renewable energy generation. In the 12th Five-Year Plan, running from 2011 to 2015, a target was introduced to generate 15 per cent of primary energy from renewable sources by 2015.

The cement industry is a major source of CO2 emissions, accounting for about 5 per cent of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

The extent to which governments subsidize electricity generation technologies is not generally clear. However, claims abound that each generation type—nuclear, fossil fuel and renewables-benefits to the detriment of others.