It is being billed as the last chance summit to save the planet. With two weeks to go before world leaders sit down in Copenhagen to hammer out a new global treaty on climate change, there maybe some glimmers of hope.
The world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, China, has now made its first-ever commitment to chop its green house gas emissions. That could see up to a 45 percent slice in what it calls ‘Carbon Intensity’ by 2020, based on 2005 levels. But, the figure would only be based on CO2 emitted for each unit of GDP. Critics argue that amounts to no real cut because its economy is still growing fast.
The move by Beijing follows President Obama’s pledge yesterday to also reduce the US’ carbon emissions based on 2005 levels. The White House says that will mean a reduction of 17 percent by 2020, followed by 30 percent by 2025.
But, like China, sceptics will point to the fact that it only amounts to a small drop, about three per cent on 1990 levels, the bench mark set by the UN panel on Climate Change.