BEIJING — China’s greenhouse-gas emissions growth is on course to wipe out gains from Western conservation efforts unless it intensifies clean-up efforts, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu told audiences in China Wednesday.
In meetings with senior Chinese energy officials and in a speech at prestigious Tsinghua University, Mr. Chu continued the Obama administration’s efforts to push for greater action on climate change. China recently surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
While acknowledging that the world’s developed Western nations have contributed most of the carbon dioxide already trapped in the atmosphere, Mr. Chu warned that China could add more in the next few decades than everything the U.S. emitted since the Industrial Revolution. Carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas [sic].
“The developed world did make the problem, I admit that,” Mr. Chu said in the speech to students of China’s top science and engineering school. “But the developing world can make it much worse.”
If I were China, just for giggles, I’d entertain publicly the possibility of no longer buying American debt. How’s that for an answer to Secretary Chu?
UPDATE: CO2 is not the most common greenhouse gas. Water vapor is.