While powers-that-be over the Union of Concerned Scientists are hailing the Joint Announcement on Climate Change issued by Presidents Obama and Xi as a breakthrough, the fiercer folks at Friends of the Earth International are sending around a press release that denounces the US-China climate pledges as "just drop in the ocean." And, of course, it's mostly the fault of the United States.
From the press release:
Commenting on new pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions unveiled by the US and China today in Beijing, Dipti Bhatnagar from Friends of the Earth International said:
"Today's climate announcement by the US and China may be spun as a landmark, but in reality the US pledges are just a drop in the ocean. These figures are very far from being the sea of change we urgently need from the US government." …
US President Barack Obama said that the US will aim to reduce its emissions levels 26-28% by 2025 (compared with 2005 levels).
"The cuts pledged by President Obama are nowhere near what the US needs to cut if it was serious about preventing runaway climate change. These US voluntary pledges are not legally binding and are not based on science or equity," said Sara Shaw, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy coordinator.
"This agreement deliberately ignores the issue of equity. Industrialised nations, and first of all the world's largest historical polluter, the US, must urgently make the deepest emission cuts and provide the bulk of the money if countries are to share fairly the responsibility of preventing catastrophic climate change," she added.
While chastising America, the Friends of the Earth praise China:
"The good news is that China is taking the fight against climate change ever more seriously and intends to peak its emissions in next 15 years. We urge China and all nations to urgently switch from emissions-causing dirty energy to community-based renewable energy."
The Friends of the Earth clearly recognizes that China will pay no attention to their hectoring and certainly won't hand over any free money.