Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Copenhagen update

Well it seems that 55 developed countries have now registered their planned emissions cuts by 2020, as agreed at Copenhagen, although it’s not always clear cut.  The deadline was the end of January, but the UN says the deadline is ‘flexible’.

Here’s some of the country targets (as compiled by Reuters based on the available information at the time of the original deadline):

• US – aims to cut emissions by 17% on 2005 levels by 2050, equivalent to 4% below 1990 levels. The reduction will be helped by President Obama’s promise that the US government would cut its own emissions by 28% by 2020 (compared with 2008).  On the other hand, the US budget, released on Monday, apparently no longer mentions any revenue from the proposed cap and trade scheme, part of the US climate change legislation proposals.

• China – Will try to cut carbon per unit of economic output by 40-45% below projected levels by 2020 from 2005.  So this is not an absolute cut, but slower growth than the economy would dictate.

• India – 20-25% on 2005 by 2020.

• EU – Kept with the less ambitious figure of 20% below 1990 level by 2020.  Would go up to 30% if other countries promised stiffer targets, but there is also internal pressure not to promise targets that would make industry uncompetitive.

• Japan – 25% below 1990 by 2020, but conditional on other ambitious deals.

• Australia – 5-25% below 2000 levels by 2020.  5% is the starting point and any more is dependent on other countries’ targets.


Progress, but pretty depressing really.  It reflects the Copenhagen failing in that many countries are reluctant to set ambitious targets unless others do – Copenhagen was meant to set the global target level.

© The Green IT Review

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