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U.S. and China boost to climate talks

November 26th, 2009
02:33 PM ET

Yesterday, officials in Washington announced that President Obama will be attending the climate conference in Copenhagen next month. The U.S. also showed its hand on what it would pledge at the December talks – 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 – which amounts to a drop of three percent below 1990 levels. 

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/26/art.emissions.jpg caption="China have followed the U.S. is stating their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "]

Today it was China's turn to state their position. It was reported by China’s official Xinhua agency that Premier Wen Jiabao will commit China to cut the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for each unit of national income by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.

The news comes a day after the U.N.’s top climate official, Yvo de Boer announced that all countries must state in “black and white” what their emissions cuts will be.

With the world’s two biggest carbon polluters committing to cuts and their leaders attending the climate conference does this improve the chances of a deal being finalized next month? Or are the cuts too little too late? And what other climate measures would you like the U.S. and Chinese governments to commit to? Send us your comments.

Filed under:  General
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Reality Check

    I am more optimistic that the meeting in Copenhagen will be a First Step in what is necessary to achieve a true addressing of the Global Climate Change Threat to Humanity ., now that so many of the World's Political Leaders will show their resolve , and Integrity .
    How swiftly the pendulum has swung from statements of no hope for meaningful talks , to some hope , when this meeting takes place .
    However , this is more , Political Gestures , some more meaningful than others , some only a Facade . And the percentage of Co2 cuts packaged in differing ( deceptive ) manners requiring interpretation and translation . Typical Politics .
    Will these World Leaders allow the Experts in the Scientific Fields and the Environmentalists , for Example Al Gore and Canada's David Suzuki and Environmental ministers of all countries be appointed in a special commision , and be funded to layout the course of Global Climate Survival Measures , NOW ?

    November 27, 2009 at 12:06 am | Reply
  2. José Humberto Vilar da Silva

    I'm sure that President Obama will look to future of world during the climate debate in Copenhagen, everybore are waiting a global deal on subject.

    November 27, 2009 at 12:18 am | Reply
  3. Anders

    Could it be that the climate change debate is in reality a way for politicians to tackle a global peak oil crisis?

    November 27, 2009 at 12:19 am | Reply
  4. Pedro Galhardo

    I think it's much more a question of necessity than a political issue. We can not deny the global warming, we can not deny the science. Therefore the world will follow step by step the right way for a more green economy and a much more sustainable economy.

    November 27, 2009 at 2:19 am | Reply
  5. James Fitzgerald

    When discussions about our planet are couched in words like "chances of a deal" and "too little too late," I shake my head. We, all of us, need to radically change the way we think. Many cultures refer to the earth as "Mother." This is not simply a metaphor we can reject as sentimental or unsophisticated. Collectively, we have made our "Mother" fatally ill. She needs our undivided attention and our very best efforts to save her. Anything else and the prognosis is terminal–and not just for her–for all of her children.

    November 27, 2009 at 2:27 am | Reply
  6. drake

    Let`s do it to it, baby!

    November 27, 2009 at 4:46 am | Reply
  7. Adam Krisko

    Reducing emission should be seen as an economical investment – even though positive return can only be achieved in about fifty to seventy years. But if the world's two biggest carbon polluters won’t do anything about climate change the economical recession can get even worse. It is very important to take action now to reach the mid-term goals related to emission-control in order to be able to realize the long-term goals – namely reducing the emissions by 80 – 95% by 2050. The frequently mentioned carbon trading is not a rational answer to the problem, it is more like putting it from a pocket in the other one. Technological development directed by well designed policy instruments is inevitable to control the level of air pollution and thus climate change. As an employee of the Center for Transportation at the municipality of Copenhagen I'm looking forward to the negotiations at the COP15.

    November 27, 2009 at 9:06 am | Reply
  8. Uwe Kochanneck

    All actual known technologies have to be examined, improved and innovated under the aspect of climate risks and possible ameliorations. This must not necessairly be a costly undertaking for the economy of nations and societies, on the contrary. We must only have the courage to look over the actual ring and rim of applications. http://www.multiblock-world.com shows how to provide a CO2 free world and not less, a great economical step forward.

    November 27, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  9. Keith, La Rioja, Spain

    Apart from the fact that we may well be pinning too much hope on the COP15 NHCCC meeting in Copenhagen, there would seem to be certain political movements in the right direction, even though the Danish President has been very pessimistic. Suddenly President Obama pledges cuts in greenhouse Gas emissions – not much, but a good step; however, the Chinese premier Wen Jiabao's commitment is indeed very heartening. Something could come from the Copenhagen talks, guided by two superpowers that at last see the signals; and as a result, other industrialised nations – Japan, UK, Germany, etc. – may well be inclined to follow suit.
    As for developing nations, like Brazil, India, they may well see themselves obliged to doing something positive: and this something positive is most definitely NOT carbon trading nor bio-fuels.
    You cannot cure measles by cutting off the pimples.
    An gi gena

    November 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  10. harold saltzman

    Never hear our leaders , especially Al Gore mention the cutting of the forests in Brazil and Indonesia and the consequent burning which is a twofold problem in itself. Covering the earth with concrete and asphalt is also a contributor to the problem. I wonder if the scientific world has ever given thought to all the OIL we have sucked from out planet is akin to draining the coolant from a vehicles radiator.

    November 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  11. Ivo

    Even if China and the US will finally commit to some extend, if the US will be claiming it`s a leader against climate change it will make me laugh so hard. If anyone`s not a leader it is the United States. Europe and Japan more then any others are the Leaders against climate Change. The arrogance of the US about this needs to stop.

    November 27, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  12. Johnny Canuck

    Funny how the picture accompanying the story shows the cooling towers if a nuclear plant emitting water vapor not the dreaded C02.

    November 27, 2009 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  13. A. Smith, Oregon

    At least it is a start that would have NEVER occurred under the horrific Bush-Cheney Big-Oil puppet administration!

    December 1, 2009 at 3:31 am | Reply
  14. Brittany

    i do feel it has taken awhile for them to even start to put something in order, even though positive return can only be achieved in about twenty to thirty years. At least it is a start that would have never occurred under the Bush-Cheney administration.

    December 2, 2009 at 12:21 am | Reply
  15. Daniel Horn

    At almost 40 years of age and i'm still hearing the same words from back in the late 70's,"We will do our best to clean up the Worlds so that our children can have a clean and better World then us", and look at what We have Boy, man's word is just BLA BLA BLA BLA and not more then that......... Some Men have had a good intention and intuition to do good BUT that is not what we see......Jeremaih 10:23 said some 3,000 years ago: " I well know, O Lord (Jehovah) that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking EVEN to direct his step" What is sad is that A hand full of the very RICH are the ones that are Harming the rest of the more then 6 Billion Pax.

    December 11, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Reply

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