[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 28 January 2007, 09:03 GMT
China admits to climate failings
Power station in Baotou, northern China
China is home to some of the world's most polluted cities
China is failing to make progress on improving and protecting the environment, according to a new Chinese government report.

The research ranks China among the world's worst nations - a position unchanged since 2004.

After the US, China produces the most greenhouse gases in the world.

The Chinese report, prepared by academics and government experts, ranked the country 100th out of 118 countries surveyed.

Some 30 indicators were used to measure the level of "ecological modernisation" including carbon dioxide emissions, sewage disposal rates and the safety of drinking water.

Global accord

"Compared with social and economic modernisation, China's ecological modernisation lags far behind," said the research group's director, He Chuanqi.

Graphic showing Chinese energy demand

Yet, with a fifth of the world's population, China consumes only 4% of the world's daily oil output, importing about three million barrels a day.

But its unrelenting economic growth will continue to fuel a voracious appetite for energy.

Current plans call for the opening of a new power station every week, most of them coal-fired.

The World Bank estimates that China will grow at 6% per year over the next 15 years, twice the rate expected for the world economy as a whole.

China is also investing heavily in renewable energy with plans to ensure that 15% of its energy comes from renewable sources, above all hydro-power by 2020.

But the BBC's Daniel Griffiths, in Beijing, says that the new report will make worrying reading for China's leaders who have made repeated promises to clean up the country's heavily polluted environment.

Without the biggest economies being part of a framework to reduce carbon dependence, we have no earthly hope of success
British Prime Minister Tony Blair

The country, he says, is paying the price for consistently putting economic development ahead of the environment.

On Saturday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair told leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the Kyoto Accord should be replaced with a more radical deal that "includes all the major countries of the world."

He warned that any deal that did not include binding commitments from China and India would fail to successfully tackle global warming.

"Without the biggest economies being part of a framework to reduce carbon dependence, we have no earthly hope of success," he said.

The environment pays the price for economic growth

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific