Climate Change

China Pledges Emission Reductions

On Thursday, China—the world’s largest greenhouse-gas emitter—announced that it will lower its carbon emissions relative to the size of its economy by as much as 45 percent by 2020. The Obama administration had pressed China hard for reductions, but an official tells The New York Times that China’s plan is “disappointing.” It focuses on “carbon intensity”—the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of economic output—and even if China meets its goals, its overall carbon emissions will still grow. And, China is already on the path to meeting the reductions it set, so the “new” plan will not require any new sacrifices. On Friday, China's climate minister said that outside regulators would only be able to check if the country was making its emissions goals if the project has international financial support.