Leaders from across the developed/developing world are set to converge on Dubai for the United Nations’ 28th annual Conference of Parties (COP28) climate summit on Saturday, preparing to negotiate a slew of new eco-friendly policies. But according to the latest data published by independent climate researchers, the world’s worst climate offender—the People’s Republic of China—is contributing almost nothing to address environmental concerns.
In a study complied by Climate Action Tracker and published by CNN on Friday, the world produced more than 50 billion metric tons of “plant-heating gases” in 2022. The top 20 nations were responsible for 83 percent of that total—and China alone produced 30 percent or 14,400 metric tons of CO2.
China’s pollution was followed by the United States at 6,390 metric tons, India at 3,520, and the European Union at 3,430.
However, despite being both a major polluter and a participant in the COP28 summit, China remains reluctant to adopt eco-friendly policies based on its economic reliance on coal. According to the latest projections, China’s emissions will stagnate by 2030, while the US and EU’s will decline. Only India is projected to increase its emissions during the next decade, similarly owing to its dependency on coal.
Another key talking point of the upcoming summit will be the proliferation of nuclear energy, which promises to be a clean alternative to coal and fossil fuels—assuming countries can develop the infrastructure to support it.