China Must Do More On Climate Change

The first thing that strikes a visitor to the Taiyanggong natural-gas-fired, electrical co-generating plant here is the low hum. The facility’s two giant General Electric turbines produce only 55 decibels of sound, the noise level of a room air conditioner.

But it was clean, not quiet, power China sought when it built this plant in 2007 in northeast Beijing. Each year, Taiyanggong produces as much electricity as 78 low-efficiency, coal-fired boilers, and thereby cuts CO2 emissions by 60 percent. In addition, the project co-generates steam for heating a large portion of China’s capital.

Little wonder that Taiyanggong is China’s showcase generating plant. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited in February. But such Chinese endeavors, impressive as they may be, are deceptive.

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