Europe: U.S., China too weak on climate

December 15, 2009 at 2:46 PM Leave a comment

As delegates worked long hours in search of a climate compromise by Thursday, the European Union on Tuesday added fuel to the diplomatic fire between China and the United States — saying that neither country’s climate targets are aggressive enough.

“We expect them both to raise ambition level,” EU environment spokesman Andreas Carlgren said of the U.S. and China. “Otherwise we won’t be able to reach the 2 degree target.”

The U.S., for one, signaled that would not be happening. It was, however, dispatching Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a State Department source said Tuesday. She is expected to arrive Thursday shortly before President Barack Obama.

Many scientists have warned that the commitments so far fall short of what is needed to keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels and head off the worst of global warming.

The Obama administration has set as its target a 17 percent reduction from 2005 emissions levels by 2020. That amounts to a 3 percent to 4 percent cut from 1990 levels — the baseline year used by many other countries.

China has pledged to cut “carbon intensity” — a measure of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of production — by 40 percent to 45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.

Since China’s economy is expected to double in size in coming years, that pledge means China’s emissions will still increase, but instead of doubling they’d be checked at a nearly 50 percent increase.

The European Union, on the other hand, has promised to reduce its emissions by at least 20 percent of 1990 levels by 2020 — and go up to 30 percent if others make comparable commitments. Japan and Russia have already promised 25 percent cuts.

FOR MORE CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT HOW THE

U.N. chief should stop pointing fingers and the

U.S. vs. China

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Entry filed under: Climate Change, Conservation, Energy, National News, US. Tags: , , , , .

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