Canada is now courting Chinese and other Asian investment in its oil sands, the Guardian reports. This development is largely the result of politically motivated American unwillingness to participate in a market considered environmentally dirty.
In the most significant deal to date, the Canadian government recently approved a C$1.9bn (£1.5bn) investment giving the Chinese state-owned oil company PetroChina a majority share in two projects. Prime minister Stephen Harper said: "Expect more Chinese investment in the resource and energy sectors … there will definitely be more."
China's growing investment in the tar sands is seen in Canada as a useful counter to waning demand for tar sands oil from the US, its biggest customer. The moves, which have largely gone unnoticed outside north America, could add further tension to efforts to try to reach a global action plan on climate change.
This is one example of the larger phenomenon that will always dog American climate change policy as long as global warming remains an issue, and until a major breakthrough revolutionizes energy production. Whatever sacrifices Americans make to prevent carbon emissions, there are more than a billion Chinese who are ready to take up the slack.
To alter the famous phrase, they will emit the carbon that Americans aren't willing to emit.