China Says No Emissions Cap, For Now

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China smog

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China’s top climate change negotiator says the world’s biggest carbon polluter has no intention of capping greenhouse gas emissions for the time being.

Su Wei, who led China’s negotiating team at the UN climate change talks in Copenhagen last year said the country’s carbon emissions had to increase because the economy is still developing.

China “could not and should not” set an upper limit on greenhouse gas emissions at the current stage, Su told a meeting on climate change policy in Beijing on Wednesday.

Beijing has pledged to reduce its carbon intensity – the measure of greenhouse gas emissions per unit or gross domestic product by 40-45 percent by 2020 based on 2005 levels.

His remarks came a day after President Hu Jintao told a high level Communist Party meeting that China must “recognise the importance, urgency and difficulty of dealing with climate change”.

But the United Nations Environment Program said in a report at its annual meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali on Wednesday that commitments made since December’s Copenhagen climate conference have been insufficient.

Britain and other countries have accused Beijing of vetoing attempts to give legal force to an agreement at the Copenhagen talks in December and blocking an agreement on reductions in global emissions.

China has submitted its plans to fight climate change to the United Nations but described them as voluntary and has not formally endorsed the Copenhagen deal.


  • Mark Spowart

    A writer and photographer, Spowart has publication credits in Canada, United States, Europe and Norway with such publications as The Globe & Mail, The National Post, Sun Media, Canwest News, and Canada News Wire.

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