How key countries are cutting carbon emissions


China on Thursday unveiled for the first time hard-number targets for reducing the carbon intensity of its greenhouse-gas emissions, a key element in the December 7-18 climate talks in Copenhagen.

Here is how other major emitters line up:


UNITED STATES: World's number two polluter says it will offer to cut emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, deepening to 30 percent by 2025, 42 percent by 2030 and 83 percent by 2050.

The offer "is in the context of an overall deal in Copenhagen that includes robust mitigation contributions from China and the other emerging economies."

The US target for 2020 means only a fall of four percentage points compared to 1990, the benchmark year widely used as the interim target in the UN process, say experts.

EUROPEAN UNION: Unilaterally cutting its emissions by 20 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, and offering to go to 30 percent if other industrialised parties follow suit.

RUSSIA: President Dmitry Medvedev, at a summit with the EU on November 18, reportedly agreed to a cut of 20-25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, raising its target from 15 percent. This has not been confirmed officially.

JAPAN: Offers a cut of 25 percent by 2020 relative to 1990, provided there is "a highly ambitious accord with participation by all major countries."

CANADA: Sees a reduction of 20 percent by 2020 compared to 2006, equivalent to a fall of three percent compared to the 1990 benchmark. The federal parliament has passed a non-binding motion urging a 25-percent cut relative to 1990, while the province of Quebec has said it will follow the EU's position.

AUSTRALIA: Bill before parliament for reducing carbon pollution by between five and 25 percent by 2020 from 2000, with the higher levels dependent on the outcome in Copenhagen. Experts estimate that a cut of 25 percent over 2000 equates to 24 percent over 1990 levels.

NORWAY: Says it is willing to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2020 over 1990 levels, and say it is willing to consider going to 30 or 40 percent. Also aims to be carbon neutral by 2030.

NEW ZEALAND: Reduction of 10-20 percent by 2020 on 1990 levels, depending on outcome in Copenhagen.


CHINA: The world's biggest carbon emitter says it will take voluntary steps to cut the intensity of its CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.

BRAZIL: Voluntary reduction of 36-39 percent by 2020, mainly from tackling deforestation in the Amazon, as compared to its forecast level of emissions in 2020.

INDIA: Says it is taking actions to reduce emissions and may quantify them into a "broadly indicative number," but no announcement yet. India argues that its per-capita emissions are very low and legally-binding cuts have to be borne by rich countries alone.

INDONESIA: National programme would reduce emissions by 26 percent by 2020 from forecast trends mainly by tackling deforestation, according to a September 29 speech by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. With international support Indonesia could reduce emissions by up to 41 percent, Yudhoyono said.

SOUTH KOREA: Has promised a voluntary 30-percent reduction by 2020 over "business-as-usual" trends.

MEXICO: Announced in June a cut of 50 million tonnes a year by 2012, equivalent to around eight percent of national emissions.

SOUTH AFRICA: Has not yet announced specific targets.

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