China plan to cap CO2 emissions sparks optimism before climate talks in Germany
China said it will set an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions from 2016 just a day after the United States announced new targets for its power sector.
Progress in global climate negotiations has often been held back by a deep split between rich and poor nations, led by the United States and China, respectively, over who should step up their game to reduce emissions. But the fact that the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases made unprecedented announcements on climate within 24 hours of each other sparked optimism.
Focus will now turn to Bonn in Germany, where negotiators from over 190 nations meet from Wednesday for the latest 10-day round of talks in a process meant to lead to a new global climate treaty in Paris in December 2015.
China, often blamed by rich countries for holding back progress in U.N. talks on emissions due to its reluctance to take on a binding target, is stepping up efforts to clean up or shut down carbon-emitting sources such as coal-fired power plants, factories and vehicles.
Despite the absolute cap on CO2, adviser He said China’s greenhouse gas emissions would only peak in 2030, at around 11 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent. Its emissions currently stand at around 7-9.5 billion tonnes.