19 August 2009

Failing to Overwhelm

The Financial Times is encouraged by China's statement that they would like to see their emissions peak by a date certain:

Most developing countries stubbornly resist western admonitions on the need to cut carbon emissions. Until recently, that included China, but signs from what is now the world’s largest emitter suggest a cultural revolution is afoot in its attitude to climate change policy.

For the first time, two senior climate change officials, Yu Qingtai and Su Wei, have left open the possibility that China will plan for an eventual peak in emissions. “Emissions will not continue to rise beyond 2050,” said Mr Su.

The FT says with an apparent straight face that:
As a quantitative measure of China’s intention to help fight climate change, the statement fails to overwhelm.
China's emissions have been increasing at around 8% per year. If China can somehow cut this rate in half and maintain it until 2050, then China's emissions in 2050 will still exceed the total global emissions in 2009.

Pop the champagne!