At China’s economic growth rate (around 8%), though, total emissions would still likely increase.
Read more at BusinessWeek.
Carbon intensity can be a measure of energy efficiency and resource efficiency is almost always a good thing. Energy efficiency is something of a proxy for genuine pollution as well; as we produce more value with less energy, pollution per unit of utility goes down also.
Yes, total CO2 emissions are almost sure to rise as poor countries raise their standards of living, but total CO2 is negligible in climate and probably beneficial overall. On the other hand, soot and ozone can be real issues, among other pollutants. And air is only one area; a higher standard of living does necessarily mean solvents, heavy metals and other genuine health and environmental hazards that nations will need to manage. Wealthy nations have developed the technology that other nations can use as their development makes it feasible.
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