China sets targets to curb carbon

China sets targets to curb carbon


In pursuance to this policy, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is all set to attend the Copenhagen climate talks next month, the government said.
A day after US President Barack Obama confirmed he would attend the early stages of the conference, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, said Wen would join the gathering, which aims to set a global strategy for reducing emissions.
China also announced that it would cut emissions of carbon relative to economic growth by 40% to 45% by 2020 compared with 2005 levels.

“This is a voluntary action taken by the Chinese government based on its own national conditions and is a major contribution to the global effort in tackling climate change,” the state council was quoted as saying by the Xinhua news agency.
Because of its high economic growth rate, China’s emissions will continue to rise rapidly for at least a decade. But this target commits China to slowing the speed of emissions growth through the adoption of renewable energy, replacing old power stations with more efficient plants, and possibly capturing and storing more carbon. It is also likely to galvanise moves to introduce a carbon trading scheme and a carbon tax.
By setting its first carbon target, China moves its policies more closely into line with international efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

But the figure is unlikely to be high enough to satisfy European and US negotiators, who have indicated that anything below 50% would represent a less ambitious target than its current efforts to improve energy efficiency.
China’s negotiators counter that it is doing far more than wealthy nations at a similar stage of development, particularly given the greater historical and per capita responsibility of the US and Europe.

European diplomats expressed disappointment that China would not be represented in Copenhagen by President Hu Jintao, which may weaken the negotiating team’s ability to set an emissions reduction strategy.

However, Qin said: “Wen Jiabao’s attendance at the meeting shows the importance that the Chinese government places on this issue, and shows that the Chinese government is willing to co-operate with the international community.”
Other observers said Wen was the best choice because he headed the climate leading group in the state council, China’s cabinet, and may be better versed on the issues than the President. “Wen is the one really driving the action,” said Wu Changhua, China director for the Climate Group.

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