China, world’s largest CO2 emitter, pledges to cut greenhouse gases

China, the world’s largest CO2 emitter, has pledged to increase its efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will also attend the Copenhagen Climate Summit, officially known as COP15 UN Climate Change Conference 2009, ‘to show the country’s commitment to the global effort to reduce greenhouse emissions.’ ‘China’s State Council said the nation would cut its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40% to 45% in 10 years. The goal does not mean that it will cut its total carbon emissions. In fact, given the expected huge increases in China’s economy over the next decade, its global warming emissions could increase—but at a much slower pace than if China had made no changes.’

China’s State Council, or Cabinet, said that the pledge 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.’ China’s strategy in its planned slowing of emissions growth will come through ‘better research and development, clean coal technology, advanced nuclear energy and better transportation systems. Tax laws and regulations will also be changed to encourage energy efficiency.’

Many are pessimistic that the Copenhagen Climate Conference is ‘unlikely to produce a binding agreement. The original goal of the conference was to produce a new global climate change treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. But in recent weeks it became clear that delegates were likely to produce at best an outline for an agreement to be considered late next year.’

As far as China is concerned, setting a target on carbon emissions does not automatically and necessarily mean that the country ‘will accept an international treaty that sets a binding target for it.’ ‘China has said repeatedly it will seek binding pollution targets for developed countries and reject similar requirements for itself at Copenhagen.’

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Via Newser

cooling towers at a coal-fired power plant in China's Henan province

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