The International Energy Association (IEA) says China's carbon dioxide emissions have to peak by 2020 if the world is to meet its 2050 emissions targets, which are designed to curb global climate change.
The IEA's declaration did not sit well with Chinese academics and officials who stated that a 2020 peak target for emissions, coupled with a 36% reduction in coal consumption would severely handicap the country's economy.
Last year, before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, China pledged to cut its energy intensity -- the amount of carbon dioxide produced per unit of GDP -- by 40% to 45% by 2020.
Once at the conference, though, China balked at signing on to a legally binding agreement to reduce its emissions, saying that industrialized nations have historically produced the majority of greenhouse gas emissions and thus should bear more burden in reducing them.
Nobuo Tanaka, the IEA Director, said China could do even better than its 40-45 percent target. He further reiterated that the global 2050 target is the minimum number the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says must to be met in order to prevent cataclysmic climate change: "If we have to reduce emissions by 50 percent globally, what is the least cost to make this happen? China could peak in 2030 or 2035, but the global cost will be much more."
Read the full story at Reuters: China's CO2 emissions need to peak by 2020: IEA
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