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Paul French with more on China going green

From Paul French, China editor, in Shanghai:

The China Column – The Supporting Evidence

Without a doubt the editors of Ethical Corporation are very nice to me.

They do, after all, give me a page of their magazine every month to comment on China – anything I like (within reason).

However, as General De Gaulle once infamously commented (and was then promptly paraphrased by a million quoters): ‘China is a large country with a lot of people’.

This means that trying to deal with any issue about China in 750 or so words and include all sides of the argument with supporting evidence is a wee bit tricky.

So I’m going to start using this blog to put up some ‘supporting evidence’ for various columns that hopefully back up the points made.

For the end of the year December issue (forthcoming very soon) I decided to consult some experts of China and the environment about whether or not 2009 was the year China “got” green.

They all thought that 2009 was in many ways a watershed year.

You’ll be able to read the article soon when the issue is published but deadlines meant that since I wrote the column President Obama has been and gone to Shanghai and Beijing.

Many in the media seemed to think the trip was a waste of time – the usual rush to judgement by a media obsessed with speed of reporting more than quality.

However, it now emerges that quite important things may have happened and, as far as the environment is concerned, progress made.

And so to add to the article forthcoming in Ethical Corporation I enter the following two pieces of evidence as part of the argument as to why 2009 was a watershed year in China in terms of the Chinese state getting the environment issue – two pieces of evidence from two very different sources:

1) The New York Times reporting that China has, shortly after Obama’s departure, set a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (carbon intensity) by 40-45% of 2005 levels by 2020.

2) Xinhuanet – the website of the Chinese state run media agency reporting exactly the same targets and details just to make sure we are all on the same side – it’s in Chinese but you can see the numbers are all the same.

This makes 2009 a watershed moment for the environment in China. No doubt about it.

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