Beijing and New Delhi should lead global efforts in fights against climate change

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2016/12/1 15:38:39

Delhi and much of northern India on Wednesday were shrouded in dense smog, resulting in a series of flight delays. "Fog [is] so dense that I can temporarily delude myself into believing that I'm in the Scottish highlands," read a tweet from "wannabe cultural anthropologist" Aditi Mallya in New Delhi.

People in China well understand this dry humor as air pollution continues to be a serious problem in the country. While Beijing was issuing a yellow alert for smog on Tuesday night, online retailers were selling bottles they claimed to contain fresh air imported from New Zealand.

According to a World Health Organization report earlier this year, out of the world's 20 most polluted cities, four are in China while 10 are in India. It would be meaningless to debate whose air quality is better. China and India are both in urgent need of clearing up their air and should strengthen their coordination and cooperation.

Air pollution in India mainly comes from the burning of fossil fuels, motor vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions and waste incineration which are among the main causes of the smog that blankets Chinese cities. China and India are currently the world's most dynamic emerging economies with huge populations and increasing energy consumption. As such, Beijing and New Delhi can't replicate environmental protections undertaken by Western countries. China and India should encourage scientific institutions, environmental groups and firms to cooperate on research to develop environmentally friendly techniques that are tailored for both countries.

In October, a Bloomberg article said that "China's electric vehicle market is so hot that India's biggest SUV maker is angling for a piece of the action." Hopefully the two countries will strengthen technical cooperation and India can further open itself to Chinese high-tech enterprises who are working on clean-energy vehicle technologies in a bid to make electric cars more affordable for people in India.

Efforts by Beijing and New Delhi to battle smog have attracted global attention as the two countries rank as the world's first and third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, respectively. US President-elect Donald Trump, said on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" earlier in 2016 that climate change is "just a very, very expensive form of tax" and has suggested he is disinclined to commit to the Paris climate agreement. In light of this, China and India should play a much stronger leading role in the international effort against climate change. The two countries jointly issued a statement last year urging developed countries to step up efforts to reduce carbon emissions and asking wealthy countries to provide support to emerging countries to help reduce their own emissions. We believe Beijing and New Delhi can further strengthen cooperation and still have many things left to do.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. 


blog comments powered by Disqus