Ian Collins clashes with XR member over China's role in climate change
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Zoe Cohen appeared on TalkRADIO to discuss an upcoming Extinction Rebellion protest which she says will target the City of London and could be held over a two-week period, much like the September 2019 protest. But Ms Cohen was grilled by host Ian Collins who wanted to know why Extinction Rebellion was targeting places like London and other UK cities when countries like China are the worst culprits for pollution. She explained the eastern nation was investing in renewables but Mr Collins was furious as China continues to build coal power stations and remains one of the biggest contributors to climate change.
Research by Rhodium Group found China emitted 27 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases in 2019, more than the entire developed world combined.
The US was in second place with 11 percent and India took third with 6.6 percent, according to the report.
The London-based climate researcher, Ember, also found China generates 53 percent of the world’s coal power as the country continues to ramp up construction of power plants to meet with demand.
Mr Collins and Ms Cohen discussed the issue on TalkRADIO with Mr Collins saying: “This is a global thing and you can’t look at this just through the prism of one country.
“As you know, China are about to build more power stations in the next few years than the whole of Europe currently has put together – So we’re all fighting to nothing here.”
Ms Cohen replied: “And there are so many stories about many countries that are not told.
“Yes, China is still building new coal power and I’m not the Chinese president I can’t do anything about that.
“But you know what China is also putting unprecedented amount of investment and growth into renewables, they’re the biggest market for renewables.”
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China has the largest solar capacity in the world with 253 GW of installed capacity compared to the European Union’s 151 GW, according to Reuters.
China’s energy department is also aiming to have half of its power come from renewable energies by 2025.
But Mr Collins was not convinced and asked: “So China were the good guys in all of this?”
Ms Cohen replied: “Well, I’m not saying that but they’re doing a lot which isn’t even being covered…”
The radio host interrupted: “They’re poisoning the place, Zoe, come on!
“The Chinese are absolutely poisoning [the planet] almost single-handedly even if we did do everything that you’re asking of us.
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“Now between China, India, and Saudi Arabia’s and other countries you can throw into the pot, I mean, these countries are absolutely polluting the place in your terminology.”
Ms Cohen said China’s emissions are because the UK does not manufacture anything in the country anymore so need to buy Chinese goods.
She was then asked whether Britons should stop buying Chinese goods but she dismissed that point.
She added: “I’m not saying stop buying Chinese but I’m saying recognise.
“And what I also want to draw your attention and listeners attention to is the City of London, which is one of the targets of this upcoming rebellion because actually the City of London and the deals those people do in the City of London drives enormous, enormous emissions.”
Mr Collin once again interrupted and pointed out Extinction Rebellion are anti-capitalist because they are targeting the financial sector to which Ms Cohen also disagreed.
Extinction Rebellion has seen several court victories as cases put against members have been dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
As a result, the climate group say they are planning to protest in areas like the City of London which are expected to be held over several weeks.
Judge Mark Dennis QC was concerned appeals against prosecutions and the upcoming protest would taking up “precious court time” and said he was “concerned” about those on remand awaiting trial.
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