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Monday, October 04, 2010

China Hosting U.N. Climate Change Conference in Tianjin

The latest United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference is taking place from Monday, October 4 to Saturday, October 9, 2010 at the Tiajin Meijiang Convention and Exhibition Center in the northeastern Chinese port city of Tianjin, China. The conference is a preparatory meeting for the United Nations summit in Cancun, Mexico to find a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty on global warming that expires in 2012.  The 2009 climate-change summit in Copenhagen ended acrimoniously with a last-minute nonbinding accord brokered by the U.S. and China.

When the Kyoto treaty was signed in 1997, China and other developing countries were exempted from limits on greenhouse-gas emissions. The U.S., which opposed that exemption, never ratified the treaty. Last year, China passed the U.S. as the world's biggest energy user and biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. It is also on track to surpass Japan this year as the world's second-largest economy after the U.S.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will travel to China from October 9 through October 14.

China, in collaboration with the Singapore government, is developing a district based on environmental urban planning called EcoCity. GreenGen, is also a power plant being built by a state-owned utility that will be the first commercial-scale plant to use a technology that turns coal into gas, making it easier to capture carbon. The homegrown Chinese technology is being licensed overseas.

In September, the United Steelworkers filed a complaint with U.S. trade officials claiming that China is unfairly subsidizing its clean-energy sector. Last week, 181 members of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote to President Barack Obama, urging his administration to address China's use of "unfair trade practices" to "globally dominate the green technology sector."

China committed last year to cut carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by at least 40% from 2005 levels by 2020, and Chinese officials plan to enshrine that pledge into their 12th five-year economic plan, the country's economic blueprint set to start in 2011. However, China's failures are also drawing attention. Some analysts say that by 2030 China will have emitted more carbon in total than the U.S. ever had in history. (WSJ, 10/4/2010)

Center Trip To China 2007

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