Monday, July 07, 2014

U.K. climate minister sees U.S. and China boosting chances for global pact

The Obama administration's proposed curbs on power plant emissions have helped open the door to an international climate change deal, the United Kingdom's energy secretary said yesterday. In an interview with ClimateWire, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey called the contentious new carbon dioxide regulations under U.S. EPA "fantastic." And while there has been little evidence yet that China or other major emitters are following suit with their own fresh targets, Davey said he is optimistic. "I am absolutely convinced the Chinese have taken a decision that they must pursue a clean energy future," Davey said. Movement in the United States to ratchet back greenhouse gas emissions, he added, "gives the political space for a deal to be done." Nations have pledged to develop a new climate change agreement to be signed in Paris in 2015. Under it, all countries -- including big developing countries like China, India and Brazil -- will be expected to contribute to emissions cuts after 2020. But working out the details of what could be the world's first truly global climate agreement has been slow-going and contentious. A midyear negotiating session in Bonn, Germany, last month moved the ball forward by inches with an agreement to circulate "elements" of a draft deal. Leaders have called for a draft text to be completed at a December summit in Lima, Peru...more

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