China vows to keep emissions below U.S.

Oct. 25, 2011 at 6:07 PM
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LONDON, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- China will not allow its per-capita carbon dioxide emissions to reach levels matching the United States, the country's climate policy minister said in Britain.

Responding to a recent study suggesting Chinese per-capita emissions may reach U.S. levels by 2017, Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that level of carbon dioxide emissions would be a "disaster for the world."

Xie made the remarks during a visit to Britain to discuss cooperation on clean energy and climate issues, the BBC reported Tuesday.

A study by the European Commission's Joint Research Center said China's annual emissions was 6.8 tons of carbon dioxide per person, compared with the U.S. figure of 16.9 tons.

In terms of overall emissions, China has overtaken the United States, but because of its far greater population the per-capita figure is lower. China has 1.34 billion of the world's 7 billion people to the United States' 312.5 million.

Xie, speaking to members of Britain's Parliament, said China would not "follow the path" of the United States and allow per-capita emissions to rise as high.

"We are making efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon intensity is decreasing," he said.

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