Will carbon constraints “infect” the whole world?
Two positive signals simultaneously sounded on the eve of the ministerial meeting, which opens today in Bonn (Germany) within the framework of the UN Climate Conference. Influential U.S. and China officials announced ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These statements of the largest carbon emitting countries can become a good signal to leaders of other countries participating in the climate negotiations.
On the last day of May, the U.S. President Obama said in his video message that he enters a complex of constraints that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country. New regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency practically mean curtailing the plans to build "dirty" power stations, which in turn should reduce burning of coal and oil. It is expected that by 2030 coal-fired plants will produce no more than a third of U.S. electricity as a result of Obama's “climate program.”
The good example was contagious. Less than a day after the announcement of the American leader, China - the world's largest supplier of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, a country with a rapidly growing economy - has promised to cut emissions. China intends to hold its performance in the range of 11 billion tons of CO2 by 2030.
Statements by the U.S. and China became a very bright political signal to the world on the eve of the UN negotiations and the Ban Ki-moon summit. Given the success of the U.S. and China in renewable energy, it is obvious that these countries exceed their "green" plans. This, incidentally, will make it possible to reduce emissions by 3.2 billion tons of CO2.
According to experts, the broadly announced U.S. and China plans can budge the international climate negotiations. In addition, the chances rise to achieve a working global climate agreement in Paris in 2015.
Olga Senova, the head of the Climate Secretariat of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union, says: "Obviously, the participants in the negotiating process that have not yet made commitments will now meet increasing difficulties to blame the leading economies of the world. Russia needs much tougher and more active implementation of measures to improve energy efficiency, introduction of reporting releases, application of payments, development of bio-energy, and reduction of methane emissions."
Representatives of environmental organizations believe that the new climate agreement shall stipulate specific and adequate numbers to reduce emissions, as well as mechanisms for economic regulation of greenhouse gases.