West Eases Off Carbon Demands for China, India

Copenhagen deal closer, but 2050 goal less likely
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2009 10:51 AM CDT
Campaigners wave a flag to call for action against the climate change, from the roof of the Houses of Parliament in central London, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009.   (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)
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(Newser) – Industrialized nations backed away from long-term carbon cut demands on developing nations yesterday, in the hopes of reaching a deal at December's Copenhagen summit. The US and EU have pushed for a 50% reduction in global carbon emissions by 2050, but China and India refused to sign up, wary of binding themselves to future cuts. As the Financial Times reports, dropping the 2050 demand and focusing on more short-term goals will make it easier to strike a deal even if it disappoints environmentalists and Western governments.

"Discussions on 2050 have been eating up time that could be more usefully spent determining what we do before we’re all dead,” said a senior official. China and India have agreed to hit targeted cuts by 2020, as have all Western nations except the US. Another snag: Developing nations want aid to fund climate change adaptation, which the UN's environment chief worries may be a "deal-breaker" for the recession-hit West.