CHINA / SOCIETY
Scientist refutes hype of Western media on carbon emissions in Chinese cities
Published: Jul 13, 2021 11:04 PM
Aerial photo taken on Nov. 12, 2020 shows a heating station with clean energy at Wendeng district in Weihai, east China's Shandong Province. Shandong launched a campaign to promote a shift from coal to electricity for 358,400 households during its heating season in 2020, which will save 270,000 tonnes of standard coal and reduce emission of 680,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the heating season. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)

Aerial photo taken on Nov. 12, 2020 shows a heating station with clean energy at Wendeng district in Weihai, east China's Shandong Province. Shandong launched a campaign to promote a shift from coal to electricity for 358,400 households during its heating season in 2020, which will save 270,000 tonnes of standard coal and reduce emission of 680,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the heating season. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)



 A Chinese researcher refuted the hype on the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Chinese cities based on a recent research, and urged the developed countries to shoulder greater responsibility in tackling climate change due to their historical emissions and consumption from developing countries.

Per capita GHG emissions in these countries are still much higher than in developing countries, Chen Shaoqing, a professor at the School of Environmental Science and Engineering of Sun Yat-sen University in South China's Guangdong Province, told the Global Times on Tuesday, quoting the recent study published in the open access journal Frontiers in Sustainable Cities on Monday.

Chen, co-author of the study, said that the per capita GHG emissions in an average city in the US is five times than in Chongqing, a province-level municipality in Southwest China with a population of 30 million and an area as big as two Netherlands.

The research drew attention for suggesting that 25 big cities out of the 167 samples accounted for more than half of the greenhouse gases, among which 23 cities are in China, including Shanghai in East China, Handan in North China's Hebei Province and Urumqi in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

Some overseas media reported that China's promises on "reaching carbon peak before 2030" and "realizing carbon neutrality before 2060" are facing "severe challenges." 

However,Chen refuted the hype, saying that the reports were written with "evil intentions."

"We chose more Chinese cities in the sampling, about 40-50, because we are a Chinese team," Chen explained. "Also, we chose only 167 cities with suitable statistical records as samples for a fair comparison."

"China and other developing countries are the factories of the world. We produce not only for internal consumption, but also for developed countries," Chen said. "From this perspective, developed countries should also be responsible for the emissions."

Chen noted that the research is not aimed at certain countries. "We want to focus on the issues of carbon emissions in urban areas, which account for 70 percent of global GHG emissions."

China's carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 were 48.4 percent lower than that in 2005, over-delivering on its GHG emissions reduction target by 40-45 percent. In 2020, clean energy consumption accounted for 24.3 percent of total energy consumption.

Many cities in China have made plans in reducing GHG emissions in order to realize the goal of carbon peak before 2030.


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