June 13, 2009
China will not make a binding commitment to reduce carbon emissions, putting in jeopardy the prospects for a global pact on climate change.
[efoods]Officials from Beijing told a UN conference in Bonn yesterday that China would increase its emissions to develop its economy rather than sign up to mandatory cuts.
The refusal is a setback for President Obama’s efforts to drum up support for an agreement at Copenhagen in December on a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol. As argument erupted between rich and poor nations at the Bonn talks, Yvo de Boer, the UN climate change chief, said that a worldwide pact to prevent global warming was “physically impossible”.
Hopes that Copenhagen might deliver tougher carbon reduction targets were dashed further when Japan failed to make a significant commitment to reduce emissions. Taro Aso, the Japanese Prime Minister, said on Wednesday that Japan would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent by 2020 from levels in 2005. The Japanese commitment is a mere 2 per cent improvement on its commitment under Kyoto.