The Granite Tower
EDITORIALOPINION
Nations in One Boat, with China as Its CaptainClimate Change in China
Lee Che Yeon  |  c903901@korea.ac.kr
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승인 2018.12.05  19:59:08
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Global warming and climate change—these are words that have haunted people for decades. Unfortunately, this chronic issue is not even close to being solved. Many professionals assert that if China does not significantly cut down greenhouse emissions, the problem would continue to aggravate. It is crucial for China and other countries to reach an agreement on how to protect the Earth. China has indeed made clear efforts to cut emissions, but bolder moves are suggested.
 
Cable News Network (CNN) reported that China’s northern plain, where population density is among the greatest, will become “the world’s deadliest heatwave zone by the end of the century.” CNN continued that by 2070, the area may become impossible to inhabit. Scientists claim that China’s high greenhouse gas emissions will backfire on the nation and such would further lead to detrimental consequences for the globe.
 
However, this does not indicate that China is taking the emission problems lightly. China has agreed upon the Paris Climate Accord, an agreement aimed to slow down global warming. According to the treaty, China pledged to decrease emissions by 35 percent of its total emission in 2005. Furthermore, China asserted that it would attempt to increase non-fossil energy usage to one fifth of its total energy use. It is reported that total emission is indeed slowing down, presumably from international pressure along with inner pressure from air pollution and a lower dependence on coal.
 
It should be acknowledged that the greenhouse emission from various industries is almost inevitable, especially for developing countries, and that current environmental problems come mostly from already developed nations. Therefore, the consensus should be reached very carefully, with both sides making significant effort. However, this does not indicate China should be content with the current situation. Without a significant decrease in greenhouse emissions, the world’s future is in jeopardy, especially that of China.
 
China simply should aim for a higher decrease in its emission—to even about 50 or 60 percent reduction by 2050. To achieve this goal, it would be crucial to change the structure of current Chinese industries. More financial investments should be made to utilize energy sources that do not emit greenhouse gases.
 
California has set a great model for China. According to The New York Times, in September, California’s Governor Jerry Brown confirmed a document stating its goal of achieving zero emissions by 2045. Soon, Brown signed another document to declare that such a goal shall be applied to all sectors that are relevant to greenhouse emissions, including transportation and agriculture. China should follow California’s footsteps and set higher goals primarily for the nation’s own sake.
 
To incentivize the nation, many countries should recognize the improvements China has made until now rather than pressuring the country for further reduction. Furthermore, various national leaders should work together to discover future energy sources that are eco-friendly and efficient at the same time. Academic exchange is sure to boost the speed of discovery, development and utilization of new energy sources.
 
It is true that China takes up a significant portion of total carbon emissions, but all nations should carry the responsibility of cutting greenhouse gases. They also should follow California’s model and set higher goals for themselves as well. If a single nation deviates, countries will soon lose the will to continue the effort, and such will lead to the serious consequences that no one would want.
 
 
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