Growing countries should be allowed emissions

Developing countries should have different standards for emission reductions than “developed” countries, to allow for their economic growth, a US Department of State official said Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Jeff Miotke, the department’s climate change coordinator for the U.S. special envoy for climate change, talked about the differences during a discussion about what to expect from climate change negotiations in Cancun next week.

Miotke said developed countries like the US should agree to reduce their emissions on an absolute basis, below a past year’s baseline, while developing countries should be held to more relative standards. For example, the US has committed to reduce their emissions levels in 2020 by 17 percent of what they were in 2005. China is targeting a reduction of the carbon intensity of their economy by up to 45 percent, which means per unit of GDP the amount of emissions would decline but overall emissions will actually grow with the country’s economy.

“Over the short term I think this is something that’s quite feasible and is equitable to allow developing countries that face a very evident development challenge to continue to … Continue Reading