Ambition Meets Wariness as U.N. Climate Change Talks Begin in Lima
The U.S., Europe and China are about to confront the gulf between their carbon-cutting ambitions and those of less industrialized countries.
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised many observers last month by jointly unveiling long-range plans to curb carbon-dioxide emissions. The move followed a pledge by the other big carbon-emitting economy, the European Union, to reduce greenhouse gases as part of a new round of United Nations-led climate negotiations.
Those talks have begun this week in Lima, Peru, and will continue on a higher level next week. But officials and experts say there is little evidence most other developing economies will follow China’s lead. The talks are supposed to produce an agreement in Paris next year.
After seven years of work, the world’s leading climate scientists who make up the International Panel on Climate Change issued their gravest assessment yet last month.