This week the world is responding to China’s 14th five-year economic blueprint. While the report lays out plans for advancing technology and research in fields such as AI and biotech, it also includes plans to invest more in coal – which will inevitably lead to a rise in greenhouse gas emissions.
China is the world’s biggest polluter, and currently produces 33 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. The US produces 15 percent and the UK 1 percent, to put it in perspective.
The 14th five-year plan was expected to demonstrate ambitious climate plans to achieve zero emissions following the country’s declaration that it will meet this target by 2060. Instead, the world watched with eager eyes only to see China fail to come up with any resolutions. Currently, there is little evidence of investment in industry and systemic change or legislation.
There is a shadow of hope with scope for China to build on policies in more detail, with sectoral and industry plans to be released later in the year. With this the world will be looking to see China respond to pressure and come through on sound initiatives on clean energy, emissions reduction, and near-term greenhouse gas emissions targets that will materialise its 2060 targets.
John Higginson, Partner, said: “China is the world’s biggest polluter by a country mile. Climate change affects everyone. But it affects those in poorer countries the worst. China cannot continue shirking its responsibility in fighting the man-made climate change which it is the biggest contributor towards.”