US hails China’s efforts on emissions

The United States praised China’s efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions but said the country must do “a lot more” to fight climate change. Speaking to Reuters as the latest round of climate talks began in Bonn, US special envoy Todd Stern said that all major emitters had to step up action, despite the current recession.


“The Chinese are doing a lot already,” Stern said, as representatives of 175 countries gathered for the latest round of United Nations talks on a new climate treaty. “The Chinese have a lot of policy that they have put in place — energy intensity targets, significant renewable-energy targets; they’ve got auto standards that are good; they’ve got efficiency standards for their top 1,000 enterprises. Yet given the power of their economy and the growth trajectory of their economy, they are going to have to do a lot more.”

China recently overtook the United States as the top emitter of the heat-trapping gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels, that are blamed for global warming. Per capita, however, US emissions are more than four times higher. China says it cannot consider a cap on emissions because it needs to use more energy to stoke its economy and lift millions from poverty.

Separately, in a speech to delegates at the Bonn talks, Stern said he was “immensely impressed” by actions by developing nations such as China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico.

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