When the Bush administration withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol, howls of protest emerged from all over the world – especially China. This is because the Chinese government was claiming it was reducing its use of fossil fuels even at a great cost to its economy, so why couldn’t the U.S. do the same?

Indeed, so remarkable was the Chinese achievement that its assertions – i.e. about being able to grow its economy by a hefty 36% while decreasing both its energy output and greenhouse gas emissions by 17 and 14 percent respectively – had many enviro’s looking to the Eastern Giant as a leader in the battle to stop dastardly global warming.

     Now comes new research by the World Bank that puts the karate chop to China’s fanciful claims. To begin with, the report notes, China’s switch from coal to natural gas isn’t occurring nearly as speedily as officials insist. Nobuhiro Horii of the Institute of Developing Economies in Japan, said that China’s claims to have made inroads into carbon dioxide reduction in just two years, or even four, are not “credible.” Nor is the growth in renewables, such as hydropower, replacing coal.

     Traffic has also been increasing in recent years as well, with vehicle use in China has doubled every five years – yet the Chinese government maintains only a mere 11% increase between 1996-99, an increase experts says is highly suspect.

     Perhaps most disturbing, however, is China’s false clams that it is closing down some of its coal mines in the Hunan province – even though it is now learned that they are remaining open. This is significant because China is the second-largest producer of greenhouse gases and, unlike the U.S., is exempt from the harsh mandates of the Kyoto Protocol. Thus, it is only China’s “good” word that will keep them accountable to any greenhouse gas reductions should the future accord go into effect.

     No doubt this report is making chop suey out of questionable Chinese greenhouse-reduction claims.