Report China to Share Burden of CO2 Emission Cuts

UPDATE: Our hopes have been dashed as China has announced it has no plans to cap their carbon emissions but will instead seek to lower the carbon intensity [search] of its economy. This is the same lame U.S. policy. The number 1 and number 2 carbon polluters in the world are increasingly international pariah states.
Japanese media reports that China will soon commit to “participate proactively in talks on an international framework to fight global warming from 2013”. This could include negotiated participation in mandatory greenhouse gas emission cuts including carbon dioxide. China will soon be the largest producer of greenhouse gases, yet China has not been obligated under Kyoto [search] to make carbon cuts. This was negotiated as a matter of equity, acknowledging that developed countries were responsible historically for most emissions and developing nations deserved more time to lift living standards before also capping their emissions. Despite major disparities in per capita emissions [search] between the U.S. and China, President Bush has used this as justification for America's refusal to participate in Kyoto. Well maybe, just maybe things will change as China now appears set to bear “its share of responsibility in fighting global warming”. The formal announcement may come as part of broader agreement between China and Japan, who are expected to reach a 10-point environment preservation and energy-saving agreement. As recently as November, China rejected proposals to revise Kyoto that would have obligated it to reduce its output of greenhouse gases. China's policy turn around indicates its increasing concern with the serious deterioration of its environment that has accompanied its economic growth. Should China indeed agree to carbon and other greenhouse emissions cuts, the United States' and Australia's refusal to participate in Kyoto, and engage in good faith in ongoing climate negotiations, will be revealed to be the selfish, self-serving and deadly policy it is. The Earth's future depends upon China following through on this pledge.

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3 Responses

  1. John Harkness says:

    This could be a very important turning point. Too bad it is far far to late to avert massively destructive effects by the CO2 already in the atmosphere and fedback loops already set in motion.

  2. I just kindheartedly wish this new pledge isn't another version of 'Chinese style of capping CO2 emissions'. And that they don't just throw the pledge to provincial governments to carry out and can never formulate any effective measures to ensure their enforcement just like their former countless anti-corruption pledges.
    By the way, if the communist party leaders cannot effectively check corruption down to provincial/city/county level, you give them the law but no body enforce, through what means can they cap CO2 emissions? Simple no way!

  3. Dzingirai Murambadoro says:

    China is indeed contributing lots of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere through its continued industrialization. However, if China starts capping its CO2 in the near future, won't other economies like the US be negatively affected since a sizable chunk of their goods are manufactured in China? Furthermore, is there a system that is currently in place to make countries be accountable to CO2 emissions by their companies operating in other contries or is this already taken care of by the Kyoto protocol's checks and balances on country emissions? I have a feeling some countries could use this as a way of spreading out thier emissions points globally but being detached from accountability.

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