Friday, December 9, 2011

China Arrives in Durban Greener than Ever

United States Should Take Heed

Workers prepare to lift a giant blade to be used as part of wind turbines at the Vestas Wind Technology Co. Ltd. factory in Tianjin, China, on September 14, 2010. The Chinese central government committed to increase renewable energy consumption to 11.4 percent of the energy mix by 2015 and 15 percent by 2020.



This week representatives from 194 parties are meeting in Durban, South Africa, for another two-week round of climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC. As always, all eyes are on the United States and China—the world’s biggest carbon emitters and, according to some, the biggest hurdles to a global climate agreement.

China balks at a legally binding international climate commitment due to its still-developing economic status, and the United States refuses to sign a global agreement that does not include comparable—though not necessarily identical—action from China. (See more.)