Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

China's ambitious growth plans unsustainable

By Arthur Thomas - posted Friday, 12 June 2009

In the pre Bonn and Copenhagen talks, China is demanding developed nations cut their CO2 emissions by 40 per cent.

While Lord Stern's recent comments on a potential deadlock may be valid, he failed to take into account the issue of dealing with the end users and beneficiaries of the products contributing to CO2 emissions.

How do we define these and apportion the cost?


Outsourced emissions

These originate from outsourced or relocated manufacturing operations in foreign countries designed to exploit cheap labour, poor working conditions, lax environmental safeguards, and various incentives. Politics and industry interpret it as a positive means of driving strong consumer economies with affordable products and growing the economies of developing nations.

While this may seem a fair and reasonable argument, there is a need to consider balancing the considerable benefits derived by the host nation, the outsourcing corporation and the consumer against the related CO2 emission content from the raw materials, manufacturing process, and transportation.

This is not a simple one-way street where the consumer carries the full cost of emission cuts to reduce CO2. Such a basic concept lacks balance and ignores key issues.

A country that hosts outsourcing manufacturing facilities also consumes those goods. The same country also produces a vast array of goods for domestic consumption with a high CO2 related content as well as producing the energy and processing the raw materials used in the goods. It is also responsible for the emissions.

That same country is also a major beneficiary, both directly and indirectly.

If considering carbon taxes or caps as a remedy to reduce global warming, then apportionment must include multiple factors.


Let us consider China as an example.

China's rewards

China's demand for the 40 per cent CO2 cuts by developed nations naturally excludes China, claiming developing nation status.

In presenting its case, China chooses to ignore the handsome rewards and benefits that it has gained. It claims that as its undeniable right. These range from massive foreign direct investment and technological advancement. This in turn created immense employment opportunities from the factory floor upwards, including the full spectrum of employment, skills bases, and cutting-edge technology.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

6 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Arthur Thomas is retired. He has extensive experience in the old Soviet, the new Russia, China, Central Asia and South East Asia.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Arthur Thomas

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 6 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy