Will China Honor its Pledges to Dramatically Reduce Their Carbon Footprint?
Recently, China stated they intend to reduce its Carbon Emissions back to about half of what they were in 2005 within the next 10 years. This rather ambitious goal is made all the more important when you take into account that as of 2008, China represents about 20% of the World Population.
Of course, this statement came before the the December 2009 UN Climate Change Conference, which left many disappointed as the standards set forth were Lower than many expected. So, it remains to be seen whether China will honor this pledge.
It is also important to note that China has historically had a very bad reputation when it comes to consumer protection and their manufacturing industry.
For example, after no longer being allowed to use Lead in Children's Products, Chinese Manufacturers began to use cadmium, which is even more dangerous. This lack of regard to the end consumer is not an isolated incident either, with contaminated dog food and baby formula being exported last year.
So, while the pledge is certainly commendable and some thing that is very important given the size of China's Population, if you use their current manufacturing ethics as a metric, it is hard to believe that China or its manufacturing industry has any real concern for the safety of those who use their products.
However, with that said, the statement seems to be supported by many Chinese, with a recent report by RSA Group finding that about half of Chinese consumers don't mind paying a little bit more for
"Green Products." This same attitude can be seen in the United States and other Western Countries as well, as many people would rather purchase products that are produced in an environmentally friendly manner and pay a little more.
Hopefully, since many Chinese manufacturers seem to care more about profits than the well being of their customers, the popularity of this idea among the general Chinese population will be a factor that helps to influence their government to honor this ambitious pledge.