China surpassed the U.S. as the leader in greenhouse gas emissions two years ago.
A day after the Obama administration issued a provisional target for greenhouse gases, China—the world’s largest emitter of gases—has jumped on the bandwagon and announced it too has set a target to slow its gas emissions by 2020. —JCL
The New York Times:
The Chinese government announced Thursday that it had set a target to slow the growth of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, a day after the Obama administration set a provisional target for reducing United States emissions.
The Chinese offer, which focuses on energy efficiency, contrasts with the strategy of the United States and most other nations to reduce total emissions. China has resisted demands from American and European negotiators to adopt binding limits on its emissions, arguing that environmental concerns must be balanced with economic growth and that developed countries must first demonstrate a significant commitment to reducing their own emissions.
With its enormous population and breathtaking pace of economic development, China surpassed the United States two years ago as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
It was unclear whether the timing of China’s announcement was coincidental, though the Chinese have been preparing an opening position ahead of international talks on climate change in Copenhagen next month. In the past, Beijing has tried to avoid looking as if it has been directly influenced by American decisions.