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Country playing its part for a low-carbon world: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-08-02 20:55

Much of China continues to swelter in scorching heat and will continue to do so until the middle of next week, according to the National Meteorological Center.

Elsewhere across the northern hemisphere, prolonged heat waves are already wreaking havoc on an unprecedented scale. From Europe to Africa, and from Asia to North America, there have been increasing numbers of extreme droughts and wildfires, as well as rising death tolls from heat-stress.

While some people still dispute the cause of the abnormally hot weather, most point to human induced climate change as the culprit.

This was corroborated again by the annual State of the Climate Report released on Wednesday. Compiled by more than 450 scientists from over 60 countries, it states the top three most dangerous greenhouse gases released into the Earth’s atmosphere — carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide — reached record highs in 2017.

“The global growth rate of CO2 has nearly quadrupled since the early 1960s,” says the 300-page report released by the American Meteorological Society and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, giving lie to US President Donald Trump’s claim that climate change is a Chinese “hoax” aimed at destroying the competitiveness of US factories, one of the reasons he cited for pulling the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.

Facts are stubborn things, and good decisions are based on knowledge of them, not opinion. The irresponsible acts of the Trump administration in withdrawing the US from the hard-won agreement secured in Paris and its weakening of environmental safeguards in the US, have not deterred China from assuming its due responsibilities in fighting climate change.

Average temperatures in China have gone up 1.35 C since 1950, nearly double the average global increase, making it among the countries that are facing the most severe consequence from global warming. Most parts of the North China Plain could become uninhabitable toward the end of the century due to rising temperatures, according to the results of research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released on Tuesday.

This makes it imperative that China — which already has the world’s largest installed capacity of wind and solar power — continues to promote non-fossil fuel energy and works together with other countries to implement the Paris accord and curb harmful emissions, for a low-carbon world concerns not only China’s interests, but also the future of mankind.

  
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