China Soon To Become Largest Greenhouse Gas Emitter

Canada to Follow U.S. Policy Lead, Says NCPA Scholar


DALLAS (April 24, 2007) - News out of both China and Canada is bolstering the Bush administration's decision not to ratify the Kyoto global warming treaty, choosing instead to seek technological innovation and participation in the Asian-Pacific partnership on Clean Development and Climate, according to a scholar with the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

China is soon estimated to surpass the U.S. as the leading emitter of greenhouse gases. Yet earlier this month the Chinese government reaffirmed that while they would participate in negotiations to shape a post-Kyoto treaty limiting greenhouse gas emissions, they would not commit to binding reductions in CO2.

"The Bush administration has been at the forefront of sound policy on at least one environmental issue," said NCPA Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett. "China rightly fears continued poverty and the health and welfare problems that it brings more than the distant potential indirect problems posed by global warming."

According to Burnett, the Bush administration recognized a Kyoto style treaty would do little or nothing to prevent warming or help the environment, while putting us at a competitive disadvantage with China and other newly emerging economic powerhouses.

And now Canada's Prime-Minister has apparently come to the same conclusion. Canada's Environment Minister John Baird recently said Kyoto compliance would cost Canada 275,000 jobs and push its economy into recession. Instead of Kyoto, Canada will join the U.S.-led Asian-Pacific Partnership - whose members also include Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea. The so-called AP6 was launched in mid-2005 to make voluntary cuts in greenhouse gases.

"Too the extent that future warming poses a real threat, the answer is not harming economic growth by restricting energy use," said Burnett. "A better course is the development and diffusion of new, more efficient technologies that will allow economic growth to continue while preventing new emissions. The Asian-Pacific partnership should result in far more environmental benefits, for a far cheaper price, than proposals to artificially restrict energy use by raising prices."