Are emissions commitments by the U.S. and China big enough?
As we get closer to the United Nation's conference on climate change in Copenhagen and nations begin setting their agendas, are their goals realistic? Last week, the U.S. and China each announced their emissions target goals. Are they big enough?
Washington Post Editor on November 30, 2009 10:17 AM
At face value, neither position will do much to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations, or affect the rate at which they are increasing. The science communities in both countries as well as the policy makers in the U.S. and China know that as well as anyone else.
Posted by David F. Hales, on December 3, 2009 8:58 PM
Not only are these announcements critical for settling one of the major issues of the Copenhagen talks -- emissions reduction targets -- but they also complete the circle of all major countries stepping forward to announce their climate actions for the post-2012 commitment period.
Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by the negotiators in Copenhagen will be how to weave together this veritable Babel of approaches into whole cloth in a way that can then be transitioned to binding commitments.
Posted by Donald F. Boesch, on December 2, 2009 4:52 PM
It is time for a reality check on China before the American delegation puts its own proposal on the table in Denmark. The reality is that China's carbon dioxide emissions will continue heading sharply upward.
Posted by Ben Lieberman, on December 1, 2009 2:00 PM
A balanced economic, energy and climate policy based on carbon intensity improvements would more likely be successful than one built on arbitrary reductions that can only be achieved by inflicting more harm on the economy. The Chinese have their priorities right. Congress and President Obama do not.
Posted by William O'Keefe, on December 1, 2009 10:22 AM