China Media Downplays UN Climate Change Report – AFP

An international media storm over the UN’s latest report on climate change, which declares global warming is already upon us and human activity is almost certainly responsible for it, has apparently failed reach China’s shores. From the AFP:

China Central Television in its Friday night and Saturday news broadcasts failed to mention the report by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) that called for international action to slow down global warming.

The Communist Party’s leading People’s Daily ran a three paragraph factual on the report at the bottom of page three in its Saturday edition. Other state-run papers ran Xinhua news agency articles on the climate report on inside pages, while only the Beijing News carried a story on the negative effects that climate change could bring to China, including extended drought in the north and worse flooding in the south.

No Chinese language report was seen on China’s growing impact on global warming due to its world-leading coal use and its booming automobile industry. [Full Text]

[NOTE: a Google News search for the report conducted for this post shows more than 285 unique articles published online since the report was released on February 2nd.]

Three of the researchers who helped produce the report were from China, according to the English-language China Daily (the only central state-run newspaper to give the story much play.)

The article also covers response from Australian PM John Howard, who is using the report to bolster the case for nuclear power as a climate-friendly energy source. China and Australia ratified two agreements a month ago that cleared the way for China to buy Australian uranium to power the 30 new reactors it plans to build by 2020.

Meanwhile, Geoffrey York of the Globe and Mail has just come out with an extensive portrait of Linfen, a village at the heart of China’s coal country. China’s reliance on coal, which produces huge quantities of carbon dioxide, is one of the biggest factors likely to influence climate change in the future, according to most climate scientists. Yet, York writes, China’s impact on the global environment is rarely discussed in China itself.

February 3, 2007 2:36 PM
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Categories: Environment, Sci-Tech