So you don't think there is maybe a correlation between China's increasing emissions and the West decreasing ones ? That maybe we didn't do anything for the climate, but just moved production to China ? With more emissions as a result ?
Of course there's a correlation - I wasn't suggesting otherwise. But it doesn't account for all the pollution difference in either region. There are many other factors. A few examples:
- European countries have been aggressive in emission standards for many decades.
- UK, for example, ties the road tax to the car's emission standard. The more your car pollutes, the more you pay
- Incentives and subsidies to install insulation in your house (UK does this)
- Road worthiness standards that are much stricter than in developing countries.
- MOT (UK) includes engine condition - a car with blown rings aren't going to be on the road for long. [*]
When I lived the UK I realised that most people take these measures for granted and have no idea that it's not the norm everywhere. No wonder they think the UK has done nothing
On the other end, China and India both have enormous populations to lift out of poverty - that comes with a huge increase in energy demands, and by proxy, pollution. It would help if they didn't build more coal power stations and go with nuclear instead, but that's a different story.
[*] This is an exceedingly common sight in many developing economies: Truck with blown rings, bellowing black smoke. In South Africa, road-worthiness is only assessed when a vehicle changes ownership. There's no regular re-checks, it's your responsibility to keep it running. So something like this (stock image) is perfectly legal:
I have friend who owns a transport company there. I asked him why truck companies keep driving their trucks like this. He says it takes much longer to have the engine repaired than to simply drop in a new one once the engine eventually ceases up, which could be years later. The cost difference is less than the downtime, so some companies simply keep driving it like that. There's a big enough risk that any given truck will get hijacked or stolen anyway, so no one really wants to spend money on maintenance unless it's absolutely necessary. Sometimes you're stuck behind one of these on the road, and the smoke coming out of it is so think and impenetrable, it's impossible to overtake.
There was an law proposed to require yearly road worthiness checks, similar to MOT, but it would only apply to cars registered after the law is introduced. I don't know if it was ever introduced, but even if it was, it won't affect all the 1970s diesel pickups that pollute as much as a small country.