U.S., China talk climate change policy

Alisa Roth Sep 22, 2009
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U.S., China talk climate change policy

Alisa Roth Sep 22, 2009
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Steve Chiotakis: President Obama and the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, will be talking climate change in New York today. It’s part of a major climate summit at this week’s U.N. general assembly. Marketplace’s Alisa Roth reports.


Alisa Roth: The United States produces about a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gases. But it still doesn’t have an official climate policy.

Jake Schmidt is at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and he says President Obama’s message needs to be clear:

Jake Schmidt: The U.S. is back and willing to cut its absolute emissions and create clean energy.

Europe and other developed countries have been annoyed with the US for not doing more to help. And they’re worried the U.S. can’t even keep promises it might make in the future. Europe’s already committed to major cuts in emissions-and said they’d go even further if other countries do.

And then there’s China. The Bush administration blamed China and other developing countries for not doing enough to cut emissions. But now China’s making all kinds of promises about renewable energy. And Jake Schmidt, from the NRDC, expects President Hu Jintao to make more in his speech today:

Jake Schmidt: We’re gonna cut our emissions in the near-term and while we’re doing that lay the foundation for even deeper cuts in the kind of medium-term.

All of this is building toward the big climate meeting in Copenhagen in December, when the world’s environment ministers will try to come up with a new international protocol. But many are worried there are still too many differences to reach an accord.

In New York, I’m Ailsa Roth for Marketplace.

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