King Charles hosts Cop27 reception at Buckingham Palace
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China is responsible for 14 percent of all emissions throughout history, making it the second biggest polluter in the world, while the USA is in first place as it is responsible for 25 percent of all emissions. In comparison, the UK has emitted just 4.6 percent of all emissions, which is the fifth highest in the world.
The Telegraph has reported that China has caused more pollution since 2013 than Britain has since the Industrial Revolution first began.
It comes at a time former Labour leader Ed Miliband recently suggested Britain should pay to help developing countries recover for “loss and damage” from climate change.
In an interview with the BBC, he said: “I don’t see it as about reparations and, actually, when you talk to lots of campaigners they don’t either.
“This is about the issue also called loss and damage. This is the fact that poorer countries are facing massive effects of climate change. We see it all around the world.”
However, Mr Miliband denied that China should be a recipient of such payments.
He said: “It’s not about China, no it’s not about China. I don’t think China is necessarily asking for money”
In modern times, Britain currently emits less than one percent of all global emissions each year, which means the country is ranked 68th in global per capita for emissions once adjusted for population.
Meanwhile, China has caused 30 percent of all global emissions each year and ranks 42nd per capita emissions.
With its rapidly increasing population and coal being the country’s main energy source, experts reported by the BBC have said the first cannot win against climate change unless China reduces emissions.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has said the country will “phase down” coal use from 2026, but researchers at the Tsinghua University in Beijing have said China will need to stop using coal entirely by 2050.
Among other G20 countries, the UK is one of seven nations which have decreased emissions, but China has at least doubled its emissions over the same time period.
Many western countries are still responsible for a historic deficit in emissions, and the European Union, US and Britain have emitted over half of the global emissions throughout history.
V20 counties, which are a group of 20 countries which will be the most vulnerable to climate change, have emitted less than 0.7 percent of CO2, despite making up ten percent of the global population.
It has been estimated that these countries have lost $525billion (£457billion) in the last 20 years due to climate change, and the monetary loss could double by 2020.
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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is currently representing Britain in climate talks at the UN climate summit COP27.
US President Joe Biden is set to arrive at the summit on Friday, while environmental activist Greta Thunberg has refused to attend, accusing the United Nations of “greenwashing”.
She said: “The Cops are mainly used as an opportunity for leaders and people in power to get attention, using many different kinds of greenwashing.”
China’s envoy to COP27, Xie Zhenhua, began the summit by calling on richer nations to support developing countries that are at the most risk from climate change.
He said: “I hope the conference this time will meet the demands of developing countries as much as possible as it is held in Egypt, a developing nation.”
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