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Europe says US and China emission targets don’t go far enough

At a press conference during the first day of the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, the European Union has stated it will not raise its emissions cuts from 20 percent to 30 percent by 2020 (over 1990 levels) unless the US and China go further in their cuts.

“If you analyze the bids they are not going to deliver the emissions reductions that would be keeping the Earth’s temperature [increase] below 2C. The US and China cover half the world’s emissions so it will be absolutely decisive what they deliver,” said Sweden’s Environment Minister, Andreas Carlgren, as reported by the Times. “I want to go to the 30 percent, but now it’s the endgame to release the pressure on other parties.”

Calgren added that he expected President Obama of the US to offer greater cuts. Currently the US has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. However, this is only a 4 percent cut from 1990 levels.

Jonathan Pershing, US deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, defended the US position saying that “the president has put on the table a remarkable number.”

Calgren also criticized China’s emission target, which calls for a 40-45 percent reduction of emissions per unit of GDP by 2020, saying that it would allow for a huge increase in emissions, according to the Times.

Carlgren said that the EU would not decide whether or not to jump its current target from 20 percent to 30 percent until the conference’s end to keep pressure on the other states.

Past and projected CO2 emissions for countries, 1990-2030. The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) forecasts for emissions from energy use until 2030.

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