Thursday, October 27, 2011

China follows up India in committing to being better than US on per-capita emissions

As has been covered in a few places, China has committed not to "follow the path of the US" with its current level of per capita emissions. (I agree with Joe Romm, btw, that they're not otherwise likely to hit the US level by 2017. They were at one-third the US level three years ago, and it can't go up that fast.)

India made an even better commitment three years ago, not to exceed the average developed country's per capita emissions (significantly lower than US per capita). These two commitments significantly exceed anything developed countries have done, especially because of the legacy emissions from developed countries over past generations vastly dwarf that of developing nations.

The third line of defense for denialists and delayers is that India and China are the problem because their total emissions are increasing. They have yet to provide a convincing reason why Western nations deserve permanently higher per capita emission levels.


Anonymous said...


-Well the real problem was the projected growth from the developing countries, so the problem is being solved and we don't have to do anything now.

-They only have the necessary technology because of our scientific investments over the years, so we've done our part already.

No, I don't find these convincing either but I do expect to see some variation of them sooner or later.


Jeffrey Davis said...

Sooner than humanly comfortable, warming temperatures will increase so much that greenhouse gas emissions from tundra and taiga and the continental margins of oceans will equal current human industrial production of those gases. Then, of course, we will have to actively bring down concentrations of gases. Not simply diminish production. At that point, barring a curse or a miracle, I'll be just a voice from the past, laughing at the engineering "solutions" to the problem that the right wing will propose. So, I'll just get this in now: "Told you so."

Magnus Westerstrand said...