PostHeaderIcon USA – China – A G2 For Climate and Economy?

USA – China – A G2 For Climate and Economy?

China appears to view global warming as an economic issue, Obama’s administration is primarily focused on the current economic crisis as well, but climate change is also a serious crisis and a threat to the world’s economic system itself with all its present and predicted impacts. Don’t these global problems require an integrated economic and environmental strategy? The hypothesized summit between Barack Obama and the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, could be an important step to accelerate urgent actions needed both to face the global economic downturn and to build a solid climate pact.

China, in its last 5-year plan, sets targets to reduce national energy intensity (energy used per unit of GDP) by 20% between 2006 and the end of 2010. According to Deborah Seligsohn, China Program Director on Climate, Energy and Pollution of the World Resources Institute, this target seems to be realizable given their latest remarkable record (-1.8% in 2006, -3.7% in 2007, and -4.2% in 2008.) Last month Hillary Clinton met experts from the Asia Society and the Pew Centre for Climate Change that together wrote a report that could help the creation of this US-Chinese partnership on climate change. But the good examples from China, although not directly referred to CO2 emissions, and Obama’s ambitious plan on energy and climate will need decisions from other 13 countries (or federations such as the EU), including Russia, India, Japan to get 80% of world’s emissions “under control”. Nowadays the other 173 countries account for about 20% of total CO2 emissions, but population increase and old development patterns could dangerously increase their “pollution share” in the future: every nation will be then required to cut the CO2, but large amount of money are needed to do so. Where will our leaders take Dollars, Yuan or Euros these days?

Next steps: -264 days to COP15:
Two events along the path to Copenhagen will take place in Bonn from March 29th to April 8th: the 7th session of the AWG-KP (Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex 1Parties under the Kyoto Protocol) and 5th session of the AWG-LCA (Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention). As we can read on the UNFCCC website “this is the first of three planned negotiating sessions before COP 15 in December” and can hopefully prepare a good ground for delegations and political leaders to decide upon.

Written by Luca Marazzi on behalf of Responding to Climate Change.

For further information on Climate Change please visit the Responding to Climate Change website –

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