Socialist Worker

China used as cover-up for climate crimes

Issue No. 2767

Polluted air in Zhengzhou, China. China is responsible for 29 percent of global carob dioxide emissions - because Western countries have outsourced their polluting industries

Polluted air in Zhengzhou, China. China is responsible for 29 percent of global carob dioxide emissions - because Western countries have outsourced their polluting industrie (Pic: V.T. Polywoda/Flickr creative commons)


For the West, blaming the climate crisis on China will provide a scapegoat for the havoc they’ve wreaked.

China is responsible for just over 29 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions—the highest in the world. Meanwhile the second highest, the US, is responsible for some 14 percent.

But around 13 percent of China’s emissions in 2015 came from making products for other countries. Western countries outsource their pollution to places such as China and India by importing goods from them rather than producing them domestically.

It creates a sense that they are doing something about climate change. A report in 2018 estimated that 25 percent of the world’s total emissions are now being outsourced.

The industrial development that took place in Western countries over centuries is rapidly ongoing in China. So the West has actually already pumped out billions of tonnes of filthy emissions, which lay the basis for the steep rise in emissions experienced now.

Between 1970 and 1980 the US’s carbon emission rate was more than double what China’s is today.

And the majority of the biggest petroleum companies, reliant on pumping fossil fuels, are not in China. Of the top ten firms with the biggest revenue, one is in China, while two are in Britain and the US and three in Russia.

Blaming China will now be our rulers’ focus. They are just covering up their own crimes.


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