Japan, China, India Toughen Opposition to Emissions Cuts

by | Sep 3, 2009

emissions5China, India and Japan continue to reiterate their stance against aggressive carbon emissions reductions ahead of the Copenhagen talks in December that will decide a new global climate change accord.

Although China’s climate officials appear to agree with the need to curb carbon emissions from industrial sectors, China is still a long way off from an agreement on CO2 emission reductions, reports Reuters.

Jiang Zhaoli, director of international cooperation at the NDRC’s climate change office told Reuters that cutting carbon emissions from industrial sectors are an important part of dealing with climate change and it is China’s main focus for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Still, China’s climate negotiators are waiting for financial support from industrialized nations, including technology transfers to help them reduce greenhouse gases, reports Reuters. There is also debate over how to “benchmark” the cuts, either absolute targets as proposed by the EU or relative (percentage) targets preferred by China, reports Reuters.

The EU has proposed reforms to the existing clean development mechanism (CDM) that allows developed companies meet their GHG targets by investing in clean energy projects globally, according to Reuters.

Magnus Gislev, first secretary for the environment with the European Commission delegation in Beijing said in the article that EU wants to establish a sectoral CDM system as a first step to a global cap-and-trade system to be established by 2020.

Industrialized nations still face an uphill battle as they try to persuade developing countries like China and India to make commitments to reduce their emissions.

Recent studies find that India’s total emissions are estimated to reach between four billion and 7.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2031, according to Google news (via AFP). The latest study shows India’s current per capita rate at around 1.2 tons per year, compared to the global average of 4.22 ton, according to the news agency.

India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that India’s per capita emissions would never exceed those of developed nations, crediting energy efficiency options rather than mitigation strategies for the projections, according to AFP.

In Japan, it’s the biggest business group that is set to lobby against GHG emissions targets proposed by the new ruling party ahead of the climate conference, according to a Japanese newspaper, reports Reuters.

Incoming Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is pledging a 25 percent cut in GHG emissions by 2020 compared with 1990 levels at a U.N. climate change conference in New York in September, which is higher than the 8 percent cut set by the previous government, reports Reuter.

Analysts told Reuters they doubt Hatoyama will back down from the emissions target but are skeptical of the new government’s ability to implement its promised green policies.

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