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Climate Breakthrough: China Proposes Absolute Emissions Cap

Pollution in Beijing

The world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, China, has proposed to install a cap on emissions by 2016. The proposal is being hailed as major breakthrough in the push to address global climate change.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has proposed installing an emissions cap that would aim to separate the growth in the economy from the growth in emissions, according to Chinese news reports. The proposal also aims to impose a cap on overall emissions in 2025, which is 5 years earlier than previously stated. In addition, China has also proposed a cap on coal consumption of 4 billion tonnes.

This is the first time China has proposed an absolute cap on emissions; previously the country has said it would lower its emissions intensity by 45% by 2020. Emissions intensity is defined as the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per economic unit.

Eminent climate campaigner Lord Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics, has described the new proposal by China as exciting news. He noted that the proposal should improve the prospects for a strong international treaty to be agreed at the U.N. climate change conference in 2015.

Do you think this proposal by China will now spur the United States into a significant proposal of its own? The United States is the second biggest emitter in the the world, and two nations combined account for over 40% of the world’s emissions.

Via REneweconomy
Pollution in Beijing image CC licensed by David Barrie

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