Chinese Not Willing to Follow U.S. Lead on Climate Change Treaty

May 29, 2009

Chinese Not Willing to Follow U.S. Lead on Climate Change Treaty

Sensenbrenner: China’s Demands Will Have Drastic Effect on U.S. Economy

Washington, D.C.,  - U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, issued the following statement on China’s recently-issued position on the Copenhagen climate change conference. China’s position paper comes as climate negotiators prepare to meet June 1-12 in Bonn, Germany to develop consensus heading into the December U.N. Copenhagen climate talks.

“For over a decade, Democrats argued that, if the U.S. takes the lead on global warming legislation, China, India and other developing nations will follow. But China’s recent position paper on climate treaty negotiations should put this fairytale to rest. 

“Last week, Democrats in Congress have ignored economic risks and high costs to consumers to push forward the most aggressive climate change bill ever offered.  Have the Chinese followed this lead?  No.  They have asked for more.   

“China said the developed world – which includes the U.S., the European Union, Japan and other industrialized nations – must make steep greenhouse gas emission cuts of 40 percent. These cuts will have a drastic effect on the U.S. economy and are steeper than the national energy tax that the House Energy and Commerce Committee adopted in its cap-and-tax proposal last week.

“These demands are in addition to demands for one-half to1 percent of the developed world’s gross domestic product to buy technology to adapt to climate change. For the U.S., that’s somewhere between $70 billion and $140 billion a year, more than two to five times our current foreign aid budget.

“Is the developing world agreeing to similar cuts? Absolutely not.

“China says that developing countries should only take ‘nationally appropriate mitigation and adaptation actions, in the context of sustainable development, supported by technology, financing and capacity building from developed countries.’

“People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese government, reports that China hosted a meeting of climate negotiators and experts from China, Brazil, India and South Africa ‘to discuss negotiating strategies ahead of the crucial meeting’ in Bonn, Germany next month and that their message was that ‘developing countries must stand united at upcoming climate talks and pressure developed nations to meet their responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions’ while developed countries ‘have no right to oblige’ developing countries ‘to share as much responsibility as theirs.’

“In other words, this powerful group of developing countries will only do what the U.S. pays for them to do while America will be burdened by cap-and-tax system that will cause a massive increase in energy prices, exacerbate unemployment, and further cripple our already ailing economy.

“So much for taking the lead.”

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