M.Phil Year 2 Translation 07TT Week 4

Fighting for air: frontline of war on global warming

1.  By 2009 China is predicted to overtake the United States as the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. India has recently become the fourth biggest polluter, but its steeply rising emissions will see it in third place within a few years.

2.  China's three decades of industrial blitzkrieg has extracted a heavy price. Seventy percent of its rivers are contaminated. In the southern Himalayas, ancient glaciers are melting. Further north, encroaching deserts threaten the livelihoods of 400 million people.

3.  The new consumption culture has brought western-style affluence that largely rural India can barely cope with. Car sales are growing at 20% a year, but there are not enough roads for anyone to drive on. India - unlike China, Europe and America - does not set any fuel economy standards.

4.  The environmental problems in India and China, which between them have 2.4 billion people, have become an excuse for inaction elsewhere. Many Britons argue that whatever positive steps they take will be insignificant compared with the negative impact of economic growth in Asia.

5.  Both Beijing and New Delhi argue that they must use more energy to lift their populations from poverty, and that emissions per person are a fraction of those in rich states.