21 September 2009

Unwarranted Credulity in the FT

The FT has another bit of unrealism in its pages today, in an article about China's climate policies:

China will be at the forefront of combating climate change by 2020 if it meets government targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the International Energy Agency suggests.

The finding contrasts sharply with the widespread image internationally of China as a country of inefficient, carbon-intensive industry that is resisting international calls to curb its emissions.

Birol, IEA chief economist, said: “If China reaches its targets – and in the past, it has reached most of its targets of this kind – its emissions [growth] will have declined so much by 2020 that it will be the country that has achieved the largest emission reductions. China will be at the forefront of combating climate change.”

China’s strong showing in curbing emissions will make negotiations on a new global agreement on climate change easier.

The key here is "if China reaches its targets" -- something I recently discussed and concluded:
The assumptions of spontaneous decarbonization in the Chinese emissions paths are yet another example of "magical solutions" on climate policy. With China's emissions growing at 12.2% per year during the present decade, it is inconceivable that this rate will somehow drop to 3.4% per year to 2020, much less the 1.8% or 0.9% per year implied by the low growth scenarios.
Doesn't the FT ever interview anyone for an alternative point of view?