April 29 2010

Assessing the climate pledges of China and India: how much do they bite?

One of the most important outcomes of Copenhagen has been the pledge of China and India to reduce the carbon intensity of their economies.

The former is especially relevant since China already generates 25% more emissions than the second world country emitter, the US. And it becomes even more relevant if we give credit to recent statements of Chinese officials indicating that the Copenhagen commitment might already be included into the twelfth five year plan (2011-2015), to be approved early next year. If that was the case, China would have a domestic climate policy before more accountable nations such as the US. However, given the somehow elusive carbon intensity metric, there is considerable speculation about what kind of climate leadership is entailed by the Copenhagen pledges. A new FEEM policy brief explores this issue by providing an assessment of the Asian giants’ efforts required to meet their climate goals. Are they consistent with a 'business as usual' scenario? Or do they entail a shift away from the way energy is produced and consumed now? Which way forward do they indicate, if any?

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

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