Thursday, June 11, 2009

US Emissions Talks With China Hit Great Wall

Five months ahead of the Copenhagen talks, a round of climate talks between the world's two biggest polluters has stalled, reports the Financial Times:

Chinese officials maintained that the two countries should have a “common but differentiated approach” – code for Beijing’s reluctance to adopt a formal domestic mandate to reduce its carbon emissions. The US Congress is considering a bill that would reduce US emissions to 83 per cent of 2005 levels by 2020. China wants the US to cut its emissions to 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 – a different order of magnitude. It also wants the US to pledge up to 1 per cent of its gross domestic product to pay for clean technology in China and elsewhere.

“It is going to be really tough to get the Chinese to make significant concessions by Copenhagen,” said Bruce Braine, a board member of the International Emissions Trading Association. “There seems to be a lack of realism in ... the developing world about what the US can achieve at home.”

It can be argued that there seems to be a lack of realism in the developed world about who has emitted most of the greenhouse gasses that have created the global warming we have consequently experienced to date. Nevertheless, the US and China are in this together, as we all are. The more united we are, the better off we will be; just as, the sooner we move, the better off we will be.

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