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In 2008 China officially became the worlds single largest emitter of greenhouse gases. A booming economy and strong economic growth over many years has lead to a huge increase in living standards for many and a huge increase in demands for energy. Most of China's electricity is generated in coal fired power stations. China has massive coal reserves, many of which are low grade and highly polluting. China is currently constructing a new coal fired power station every week. the environmental protection standards are woefully inadequate with huge air pollution problems and contaminated rivers. China is currently in the middle of the worst drought in 50 years. Though water shortage is partly driven by over extraction from rivers it is also due to decreasing rainfall totals as a result of climate change. Many northern provinces are suffering with once productive agricultural land turning to desert. Food shortages are predicted to be a real problem in future years for China. Having said all of this, China is investing in renewable energy. Every where I went, the modern apartment blocks all had solar water heaters on the roof.
China