China Seizing the Moment?

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". . .80% of China's carbon dioxide emissions and 85% of its sulphur dioxide pollution come from burning coal."

And we thought they would pay heed. China is portrayed as a dire threat to the planet, with its booming population and its resultant pollution. And though the country promised to clean up its climate and spelt out other environmental promises at the Copenhagen meet, the promises could well go up in smoke and add to the sooty blanket of smog that lines most of the cities in the Asian country.

Greenpeace notes that 80% of China's carbon dioxide emissions and 85% of its sulphur dioxide pollution come from burning coal.

The vast nation looks nowhere near to reducing its greenhouse gases given that the country is cranking out three new coal-fired generating plants every week.

Though their "alleged commitment to climate change" has sparked a fury of debate, there are others who swear that the country is promising to brake runaway growth in its world-leading carbon emissions and that it means business.

On its part, the Chinese government has made its intentions clear: "China will not repeat the traditional path of growth of developed nations of high emissions, high energy consumption and high pollution," vowed Xie Zhenhua, vice-minister of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission.

But giving up coal would tantamount to an impossible challenge.

China is not blessed with abundant supplies of oil and gas, it has huge deposits of coal. The fuel's ready availability and cheap price made it an obvious choice to fire the country's industrial revolution,

Coal continues to be king.

As does pollution for the Asian tiger.

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