China, U.S narrow disagreements over carbon emission cuts

China and the U.S are narrowing their differences on the key issue at the Cancun climate change summit – that of monitoring and cutting carbon emissions.

Su Wei, China’s chief negotiator said, “maybe the differences are not that huge,” adding that, “in general, both countries would like to promote the process” and emerge from Cancun with a deal, according to China daily.

Last year in Copenhagen, the issue of cutting greenhouse gas emissions sparked fierce diagreements between developed and developing countries which led to a fruitless conclusion of the conference.

At the Cancun conference in Mexicxo, China and the U.S. are giving some signals that some kind of agreement will be reached on the emmission palaver.

Obama said four days before the confernece that the US is prepared to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by 17 per cent by 2020 and by 83 per cent by 2050 “in the context of an overall deal in Copenhagen that includes robust mitigation contributions from China and the other emerging economies,” reported the New scientist magazine.

China has promised to cut its carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent by the year 2020,  a target Premier Wen Jiabao said would require “arduous efforts”, according to  China Daily. The new five-year development plan for China introduced last month shows that China will make progressive efforts to boost energy efficiency, promote low-carbon technology, and establish carbon trade markets

China’s attitude in this regard is straight forward and positive. According to China Daily, Barbara Finamore, the China expert for Natural Resources Defense Council, said the Chinese attitude at Cancun reflected “a sea change” in approach. “China made a strategic decision to be as positive, open and forthcoming as they can,” she said in an interview.

While the Chinese government has announced unconditional commitments to carbon emission cuts, high carbon-emitting developed countries (particularly the US), are equally under considerable pressure to spell out an action plan towards attaining this goal.

As negotiations continue at the UN climate change conference, a group of youths from China and the United States have sent a clear and firm message to the delegates: Stop blaming and start trusting each other, china daily reported.

According to the report, 30 students and young graduates from both countries put their heads together at the China-US Youth Climate Exchange on the second day of the conference; they were hoping to find ways to enhance understanding between the two big players meaning China and U.S at Cancun. The most important thing now is build trust. 

It has been widely acknowledged that China and the US can play a significant role in climate change talks. As the world’s biggest emitters, and representing the biggest developing and developed countries, the two have a wide reach on other negotiators at the talks. Both countries can use this role to broker many agreements that will help solve climate change problems in the world.

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