Latest Issue

Will China clean up its act?

China has paid a high price for its rapid economic growth. But can the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gases now lead a global green industrial revolution?

By Jonathon Porritt   February 2010

The fallout from the Copenhagen summit is still reverberating around the world. It isn’t just NGOs and academics who are up in arms—many governments, including Britain’s, have expressed dismay at the results. And most people agree that China is the principal bad guy.

It wasn’t meant to be like that. China’s leaders had made encouraging noises before the summit. In November 2009, China made a commitment to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by at least 40 per cent by 2020 (on 2005 levels). Though falling short of actual cuts in emissions, the move was welcomed since it still…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect