China Tells The World It Won't Keep Temperatures From Rising More Than 2C

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An adviser for the Chinese government came out today and said the obvious: There’s no way the country will be able to keep its emissions in check, and yes, the temperature will rise above the dreaded 2 degree centigrade marker. Not really a surprise, but it’s not what the world wants to hear ahead of the Copenhagen meeting:

Guardian: Even in a best-case scenario with massive investment in solar energy and carbon capture technology, Dai Yande, deputy chief of the Energy Research Institute, said China’s emissions were unlikely to fall low enough to remain below the temperature goal recommended by the G8 and European Union. His prediction will alarm those governments and scientists who warn that a rise more than 2C risks disastrous consequences in terms of food security, migration, sea-level rises and extreme weather events.

“You should not target China to fulfil the two degree target. That is just a vision. Reality has deviated from that vision,” said Dai. “We do not think that target provides room for developing countries.” China argues that its priority must be economic growth to relieve poverty among its vast population.

Dai – whose think tank works under the government’s powerful National Development and Reform Commission – blamed rich nations for excessive consumption and for failing to reach the targets set at Kyoto.

“20 per cent of the world’s population takes 80% of wealth and emits 70% of greenhouse gases,” he said. “I think two degrees is a vision that is difficult to fulfil because few countries have reached Kyoto protocol targets, except the UK and some others in the EU.”

Dai stressed that his comments are not official government policy, but they are consistent with a hardening of positions ahead of the Copenhagen climate change summit in December.

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