<HTML><HEAD> <META name=GENERATOR content="MSHTML 8.00.6001.19120"></HEAD> <BODY> <H1 class="cN-headingPage articleHeading prepend-5 span-11 last">As China's emissions rise, so too does sceptics' hot air </H1> <DIV class="push-0 span-11 last"><!-- cT-storyDetails --> <DIV class="cT-storyDetails cfix"> <H5>John Garnaut, China</H5> <P><A href="http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/as-chinas-emissions-rise-so-too-does-sceptics-hot-air-20111007-1ldvl.html">http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/as-chinas-emissions-rise-so-too-does-sceptics-hot-air-20111007-1ldvl.html</A></P><CITE>October 7, 2011</CITE> <!--<ul> --><!-- --></DIV> <DIV id=googleAds class="ad adSpot-textBox"></DIV><BOD> <DIV class=articleBody><!-- cT-imagePortrait --> <DIV class=cT-imagePortrait><IMG alt="China's President Hu Jintao delivers his remarks during a dinner in his honor at the Hilton Hotel ballroom Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)" src="ctsart-353-jintao-200x0.jpg"> <P>China's President Hu Jintao. <EM>Photo: AP</EM></P></DIV> <P>CHINESE President Hu Jintao is having to stare down claims that human-induced climate change is an elaborate American conspiracy, as the country's carbon emissions surge despite tough government constraints.</P> <P>"Global warming is a bogus proposition," says Zhang Musheng, one of China's most influential intellectuals and a close adviser to a powerful and hawkish general in the People's Liberation Army, Liu Yuan.</P> <P>Mr Zhang told <EM>The Age</EM> that global warming was an American ruse to sell green energy technology and thereby claw its way out of its deep structural economic problems.</P> <P>A year ago, President Hu committed to lower the "carbon intensity" of economic output by 40 to 45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020.</P> <P>China appears on track to meet the target but that may still not be enough to save the world from destructive climate change, thanks to faster-than-expected Chinese economic growth.</P> <P>A new study by the Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency shows China emits more greenhouse gases than any other country, with emissions doubling between 2003 and 2010.</P> <P>China's carbon emissions rose 10 per cent last year alone, to 9 billion tonnes, compared with 5.2 billion tonnes for the United States.</P> <P>The report showed India's emissions also rose rapidly, by 9 per cent, although its total emissions are still only one-fifth of China's.</P> <P>The most startling finding is that China's per capita emissions are now higher than several rich nations, including France and Italy. China's per capita emissions could even overtake the US within six years, the study said.</P> <P>But they may never catch up to Australia. Australia's total emissions plummeted by 8 per cent last year, according to the report, beginning to reverse a two-decade long rising trend. But Australia's per capita emissions remain the highest of any substantial economy, at 18 tonnes.</P> <P>In London on Thursday, former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull praised China's incentives for renewable energy, which have seen its installed wind and solar capacity double in each of the past six years.</P> <P>These achievements have been lauded abroad but sullied at home by governance, efficiency and even environmental problems, leading to allegations that China has been duped.</P> <P>Mr Zhang, whose father was secretary to China's former premier, Zhou Enlai, blasted Chinese policymakers for encouraging Chinese companies to buy foreign intellectual property in order to manufacture renewable energy equipment. The Chinese-made equipment helps the environment in other nations while leaving China with financial and environmental costs, he said.</P> <P>"The low-carbon economy, carbon politics and carbon taxes are actually driven by the West as the foundation for a new cycle of the virtual economy,'' he added.</P> <P>Mr Zhang's comments provide a window into internal Communist Party dynamics, where no leader can afford to be accused of making "soft" compromises with US negotiators.</P> <P>It helps explain how Mr Hu's carbon commitment was overshadowed at the Copenhagen climate summit last year by China's refusal to submit to international monitoring.</P> <P>''If the current trends in emissions by China & continue for another seven years, China will overtake the US by 2017 as highest per capita emitter among the 25 largest-emitting countries,'' said the Netherlands report.</P> <P>Surging emerging economy emissions led to a record 5.8 per cent jump in global emissions last year, following a 1 per cent rise and 1 per cent fall in 2008 and 2009.</P></DIV></BOD></DIV></BODY></HTML>