As China continues its runaway pollution policies, it has come up with a proposal that has the world scratching its collective head. China is proposing that it should still not be held accountable for its massive pollution rate or that fact that it has overtaken the United States as the world’s leading greenhouse gas producer. Instead, it insists that countries buying its goods should be charged for the carbon dioxide that it is producing.
China’s top negotiator, Li Gao, has made the proposal in advance of a major conference in Copenhagen. Despite the fact that China has a growth rate of roughly ten percent a year and refuses to comply with international demands for pollution abatement, it insists that it should not be held accountable for its own pollution rate.
The conference will be the test for the Obama administration. The Bush Administration created an anti-environmental record that equaled that of China. However, all countries now have to step up and accept limitations. The argument that Western countries should be the only ones to accept restrictions is not just environmentally stupid but potentially disastrous as we approach the tipping point on pollutants. Countries like India and China are experiencing massive economic growth with massive increases in pollution. It has to stop and the Obama Administration has to have the courage to stand firm against these exemptions.
The Japanese are insisting that the U.S. and China must agree this round to restrictions. However, they should include India and other countries as well. The U.S. and China should bear the greatest burden but the idea of exempting other countries has to be addressed.
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