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Climate change is climbing fast in the international agenda. Countries small and large are running to agree on measures and common policies to tackle the issue. In times of economic and financial crisis, climate change might be the turning key to open the way to a global recovery. If and whether all announcements, agreements and numbers will actually turn real, it’s another point.
Recently, the European Union and Japan have joined forces in the battle against climate change and invited large countries, including the United States, China and Russia, to follow suit at a recent summit meeting in Prague.
The 27 Member States of the European Union are also said to be eager to increase the level of carbon emissions cut agreed with the U.S. – down to 1990 levels by 2020 – to 30 percent if other industrialized nations do the same.
In a move to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promote clean energy in North America, the United States and Mexico recently agreed to a new partnership to fight climate change as part of its joint collaboration, “U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Framework on Clean Energy and Climate Change.”
Japan, the host of the Kyoto Protocol on fighting climate change, has not announced its mid-term target yet, but it is said to have pledged reducing carbon emissions by up to 80 percent by 2050. The EU and Japan also urged developing countries to develop or update their action plans for a low-carbon economy.
China, a developing nation and the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, did not accept cuts in greenhouse emissions under Kyoto. China has repeatedly said it wants to richer countries to pay for its carbon emissions before committing to reductions under a new pact. Under the strikes of the recession, though, it might be forced to come to better terms and accept introducing environmental protection parameters into its development plans. The Chinese government, indeed, has recently launched a series of domestic initiatives it says are curbing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by factories, power plants and vehicles. Sources claim that Chinese state researchers will soon issue preliminary proposals for a carbon tax that may become part of the government’s efforts to reduce growing greenhouse gas emissions.