photo: Bonbon via flickr
More hard rhetoric from China on the weak emissions reduction targets proposed by the United States and Europe: AFP reports that China has reiterated its demands for deep greenhouse gas cuts in the short-term, greater assistance with technology transfer, and unwillingness to agree to binding emissions targets:Deeper Emission Cuts 'Fair & Reasonable'
China's top climate negotiator, Yu Qingtai said,
We have all along believed that due to the historical responsibility of the developed nations, they must continue to take the lead with large reductions beyond 2012.
Those large reductions are what China (as well as other developing nations) have said for several months now -- 40% reductions from 1990 levels by 2020. Yu said that these reduction targets were "fair and reasonable" and that "China's position has not changed."
Additionally, Yu said that rich nations should lay out concrete plans to finance greater technology transfer into the developing world.
G8 See the Goal But Won't Get on the Path
At the recent G8 meeting in Italy it was agreed that limiting global average temperature rise to 2°C was the goal, but no short-term targets were set which would facilitate that. In fact the chair of the IPCC, Dr Rajendra Pachauri went so far as to say the G8 nations "clearly ignored" scientific recommendations on how to keep temperatures below that threshold -- namely making the sort of emissions cuts called for by China.
As a reminder, the emissions targets incorporated into the American Clean Energy & Security Act amount to an effective 4% based on 1990 levels by 2020. The EU has proposed 20% off 1990 levels.
We're Setting Ourselves Up For Deadlock
If this is all seeing repetitive it's because it is. The positions of both sides have been so well staked out now -- at least the US has said it will not try to make China agree to binding emissions targets -- that I'm not sure what more public statements will do.
Clearly the developed world is unwilling to commit themselves to what science says is required to prevent catastrophic warming and clearly the developing world believes these steps should be taken.
More: AFP/Yahoo News
Global Climate Change
Poorer Nations Tell the Rich: You Must Cut Emissions 40% Below 1990 Levels by 2020
India Won't Commit to Binding Emissions Reductions - Which is Why Rich Countries Must Make Deeper Cuts
Pacific Island Nations Again Plead for Greater Emissions Cuts from Rich Nations