Before the Copenhagen climate conference, pressure is growing on the world’s fourth highest greenhouse gas emitter, India, to makes cuts.
India estimates it could cut its carbon intensity by 24% by 2020. Carbon intensity is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of GDP. It is a way of measuring emissions that actually allows growth, just not as fast as economic growth. Based on 2005 levels, the US plans to reduce emissions by 17% and China plans to bring down its carbon intensity by 40 to 45% – a calculation that still allows a doubling of emissions. China says it hopes Copenhagen will lead to a concrete deal. China’s Climate Ambassador Yu Qingtai said: “The actual content of whatever is achieved is more important than the title of the document that is produced. Why have we spent two years talking without making enough progress? I personally think it is because developed countries have not sat down to negotiate in good faith.” Climate change in China will mean spreading deserts, worsening droughts and floods. In Australia, the government’s key environmental policy of carbon trading limped to its final defeat in parliament today. The European Union is pressing for more aggressive cuts and has pledged at least a 20% drop in its emissions compared to 1990 levels.