Memo to Copenhagen: Commentary is misinformed—China’s commitment is significant


It is, nevertheless, crucial for China to accept a cap on greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce them toward zero. Chinese economists and policy analysts suggest that the government might accept a cap beginning in 2025 and reducing emissions from that level by 30 percent or more by 2050. But by far, the most important thing China can do right now to avert catastrophic climate change is to implement the Copenhagen goal it has already proposed. Criticism of China’s 2020 target is neither productive nor justified, and, if not a cynical ploy to avoid U.S. action, can be explained only by lazy scholarship or reflexive “China bashing.”