Copenhagen: What matters to China

Posted by Joe Lucas at 9:00 am, December 09, 2009

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This year, we’ll need to pay close attention to China’s energy and environmental agenda during the U.N. Climate Change Conference. As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and many of its interests are closely tied to the United States.

Here's a partial list of China's climate goals for Copenhagen:

Gain assistance from developed countries: According to Xinhua News Agency, the government has repeatedly said that developed nations should honor their commitments to support developing countries with funding and technology.

Work with the United States to develop clean technologies: As President Obama said during his recent trip to China, "There can be no solution to this [climate change] challenge without the efforts of both China and the United States." Both sides agreed to create a joint clean energy research center and develop, among other things, ways to use clean coal technologies, electric vehicles and shale gas, reported the Vancouver Sun.

Reducing future emissions: Chinese President Hu Jintao’s government announced last week that China would reduce its carbon intensity 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels in the coming decade, reports E&E News.The International Energy Agency cautioned that China was already projected to reach that goal in the next decade anyway, according to the news report. However, others lauded the proposal, noting that the IEA forecast also contemplates “serious investments” by China to boost energy intensity.

As with the U.S., many of China’s goals are tied to clean energy innovation. And by partnering with the U.S. to develop, export and deploy these cutting-edge technologies, we’re confident both countries can reduce greenhouse gases more quickly and provide long-term solutions for our global neighbors.


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