July 28, 2009
Patrick Creighton, 202.621.2947
Laura Henderson, 202.621.2951


Lawmakers who believe that passage of cap-and-trade legislation will encourage China, India, Russia to follow suit suffer from language barrier

  • Senator John Kerry (D-MA):”Yes, we want more than promises from China – the world’s largest emitter must eventually accept binding reductions. But it would be a mistake to focus single-mindedly on what China has said it will not do.” (Financial Times, 7/26/09)
  • U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says China needs to pay for emissions: “They’ve got to step up. They’ve got to pay for the cost of complying with global climate change. They’ve got to invest in energy efficiency and conservation, but also very definitive steps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” (Doug Palmer, “U.S. climate chaos: Confused Obama administration flip-flops on climate politics”, Reuters, 07/20/09)
  • Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass.): “[W]e leave here [China] encouraged that progress can be made heading towards Copenhagen and we hope that in the months ahead we can work cooperatively together …” (Voice of America News, May 28, 2009)
  • Senator John Kerry (D-MA): “In my meetings this week, Chinese leaders assured me that China will play a positive and constructive role in the Copenhagen negotiations … China recognizes the need to address climate change as a critical component of the nation’s economic development and national security strategy.” (The Hill, May 28, 2009)

China Says No to Job-Killing Emission Caps

Chinese spokesman at June 2009 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: “It is natural for China to have some increase in its emissions, so it is not possible for China in that context to accept a binding or compulsory target.” (George Will: “China, India have a big emissions veto,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, 7/23/09)

Qin Gang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said that since China is a developing country and is making strides to strengthen its economy, “it is natural for China to have some increase in emissions, so it is not possible for China to accept a binding or compulsory target.” (Carl Mortished, “Climate pact in jeopardy as China refuses to cut carbon emissions,” The Times, 6/12/09)

Jiang Kejuan, director of the energy systems center at China’s NDRC, stated that “The energy-saving policies made by the Chinese government have already been the biggest energy-saving and emission-reduction movement in the world. The Chinese government has already done well enough.” (Ariana Eunjung Cha, “At Odds on Emissions, U.S., China Open Talks,” The Washington Post, 6/9/09)

China won’t commit to emissions cuts: “‘No matter what happens on the road to Copenhagen, our stance and principles are long-held,’ Li said. ‘We are active both in global talks and taking action in curbing emission.’ The Chinese government has said that it would avoid promising a cut in greenhouse gases during the 2013-2030 period. Instead, China will consider setting a goal to improve energy efficiency by 2020.” (Fu Jing and Li Jin, “China stance on climate talks firm”, China Daily, 05/15/09)

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao downplays agreement on mandatory caps: “‘It’s difficult for China to take quantified emission reduction quotas at the Copenhagen conference, because this country is still at the early stages of development,’ he [Jiabao] said in an interview with the Financial Times. ‘Europe started its industrialisation several hundred years ago, but for China, it has only been dozens of years.'” (Tom Young, “China lowers expectations of Copenhagen deal”, Business Green, 02/03/09)

Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the China Development and Reform Council, upon urgings by the West that China reduce emissions, stressed that “[b]oth developing countries and developed countries have realized the importance of technologies in building more energy-efficient and low-emission industries, however on transferring such technologies, developed nations underline the role of markets, while developing nations urge the combination of roles of markets and governments.” (“China reiterates developed nations’ obligation in anti-global warming efforts,” China View, 3/16/08)

Chinese minister Xie Zhenhua rejects responsibility for emissions: “‘The primary responsibility for tackling climate change should rest with the developed countries,’ Xie said. ‘The developed countries should take the lead,’ he said.” (“Ahead of Bali, China says the west must bear emission reduction burden”, Associated Press, 11/29/07)

Chinese President Hu Jintao says developing countries need energy, not caps: “‘Developing countries still have a long way to go before achieving industrialization, urbanization and modernization, and they face an arduos task of improving people’s life,’ Hu said. ‘To meet their development goals, developing countries need to consume more energy.'” (Andrew McCathie, “China, India insists climate change solution lies in the west”, Deutsche Press Agentur, 06/08/07)

India Says No to Job-Killing Emission Caps

Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh reiterates that India will not accept emissions caps:
“The world has nothing to fear from India’s development… An artificial cap is not desirable and not even necessary as we haven’t been responsible for emissions in the first place.” (James Lamont, Joshua Chaffin, and Fiona Harvey, “India widens climate rift with west”, Financial Times, 07/23/09)

Dr. R.K. Pachauri, noted environmentalist and Chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says India will continue to use coal: “‘Can you imagine 400 million people who do not have a light bulb in their homes,’ Dr. Pachauri told reporters here Monday. ‘You cannot, in a democracy, ignore some of these realities and as it happens with the resources of coal than India has we really don’t have any choice but to use coal in the immediate short term.’ ” (“Pachauri defends India’s climate stand, The Hindu, 07/22/09)

Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): “You cannot, in a democracy, ignore some of these realities and as it happens with the resources of coal that India has we really don’t have any choice but to use coal in the immediate short term.” (“Pachauri defends India’s climate stand,” The Hindu, 7/21/09)

Indian Prime Minister’s special envoy on climate change, Shyam Saran, on emissions: “it is not our responsibility.” (Bryan Walsh, “Climate conundrum: How to get India to play ball”, TIME, 07/21/09)

Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh: “India’s position is clear and categorical that we are simply not in a position to take any legally binding emissions reductions… Ramesh drew the red lines clearly. ‘There is simply no case for the pressure that we, who have been among the lowest emitters per capita, face to actually reduce emissions.'” (“India rebuffs Clinton, rules out emissions targets”, The Times of India, 07/20/09)

Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh tells Secretary of State Clinton: “There is simply no case for the pressure that we, who have among the lowest emissions per capita, face to actually reduce emissions.(Matthew Rosenberg, “India rejects U.S. proposal of carbon limits”, Wall Street Journal, 07/20/09)

Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh: “We are simply not in a position to take on legally binding emissions reduction targets.” (Nicholas Kralev, “India tells Clinton: no carbon cuts,” The Washington Times, 7/20/09)

Indian Prime Minister’s special envoy on climate change, Shyam Saran, doubts the G20’s promise to keep global warming under two degrees Celsius: “We do not regard this as an arithmetical target; we regard this as a political decision because there is a great deal of uncertainty with respect to what would be the actual rise in temperature, what would be the consequences of that rise of temperature.” (Indrani Bacghi, “India: 2 degree Celsius is not a fixed target”, The Times of India, 07/17/09)

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh: “There is a lot of pressure on India and China on the issue of climate change. We have to resist it.” (“Singh: India, China have to resist pressure on climate change”, The Economic Times, 07/11/09)

Indian Prime Minister’s special envoy on climate change, Shyam Saran, places emission burden on developed countries: “The developed countries have been the biggest polluters and have to share their historical responsibility on it. India spends 2.5 percent of its GDP on the fallout of climate change like natural disasters. Technology is the key to reducing emissions and developed countries will have to step in for this.” (Jaideep Sarin, “Climate remains an issue at G8-G5 summit”, Express Buzz, 07/10/09)

Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh: “India will not accept any emission-reduction — period. This is a non-negotiable stand… We are not re-negotiating the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change,’ Ramesh said, referring to the treaty that entered into force in 1994 and laid the groundwork for emissions cuts by richer nations. ‘There is no way India is going to accept any emission reduction target, period, between now and the Copenhagen meeting and thereafter.'” (Bibhudatta Pradhan, “India’s red line: Rules out any emissions cuts under new climate treaty”, Bloomberg, 06/30/09)

Indian Foreign Minister Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna: “‘India is a developing country,’ he [Krisha] said, speaking after talks with EU diplomats. ‘We have challenges and we will have to concentrate on development. And development takes precedence over everything else.’ ” (“India vows cooperation on climate change but not at economic cost”, Deutsche Press Agentur, 06/29/09)

Indian climate negotiations delegate rejects caps: “‘If the question is whether India will take on binding emission reduction commitments, the answer is no. It is morally wrong for us to agree to reduce when 40 percent of Indians do not have access to electricity,’ said a member of the Indian delegation to the recently concluded U.N. conference in Bonn, Germany, which is a prelude to a Copenhagen summit in December on climate change.” (Rama Lakshmi, “India rejects calls for emission cuts”, Washington Post, 04/13/09)

India’s top negotiator at U.N. climate conference rejects caps: “In India I need to give electricity for lightbulbs to half a billion. In the west you want to drive your Mercedees as fast as you want. We have ‘survival’ emissions, you have lifestyle emissions. You cannot put them on the same basis. I am trying to give a minimal commercial energy service. Whereas you are not prepared to give up any part of your affluent lifestyle or give up consumption patterns.” (Randeep Ramesh, “India rebuffs Obama, won’t accept emissions limits”, The Guardian, 12/08/08)

Russia Says No to Job-Killing Emissions Cap

Arkady Dvorkovich, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s top economic advisor:
“For us the 80 percent figure is unacceptable and likely unattainable. We won’t sacrifice economic growth for the sake of emission reduction.” (Anna Smolchenko, “G8 Emissions Pledge Unravels as Russia Objects”, AFP, 07/08/09)

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev”[W]e will not cut off our development potential.” Despite statements by the Russian President for CO2 reductions, and similar calls from the international community, Russia is expected to release around 30 percent more greenhouse gases by 2020. (“Russia’s Medvedev announces greenhouse gas target,” Reuters, 6/19/09)

Russian official responsible for country’s Kyoto obligations rejects emission limits: “‘Energy must not be a barrier to our comfort. Our emerging middle class… demands lots of energy and it is our job to ensure comfortable supply,’ he said. ‘We don’t plan to limit the use of fuel for our industries. We don’t think this would be right,’ he said, referring to the current round of Kyoto. (Simon Shuster, “Russia says it has no plans to cap carbon emissions”, Reuters, 04/28/08)

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.


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