A group of companies and non-profit agencies that includes energy giants Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BHP Billiton said global greenhouse gas emissions could be cut in half by 2040 without impeding economic development, in part by converting grids to use mostly renewable power.
At a White House press conference Friday afternoon, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a suite of wide-ranging actions that clarify how serious the world’slargest greenhouse gas emitter is about cutting greenhouse gas emissions. These include prioritizing green energy on China’s grid, a cap-and-trade or emissions trading system for China, additional low-carbon financing to developing countries, and emissions standards for heavy duty vehicles. The fact that these announcements were made during the world’s most important bilateral meeting and official state visit lends them further significance.
Barack Obama has warned that no challenge poses a greater threat to humanity’s future than climate change.
In unveiling a new plan to tackle greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired powered stations, the US President said there was a compelling argument to take strong and immediate action.
The European Union’s attempt to cap greenhouse-gas emissions over the next 16 years is threatened again as rising pollution from the bloc’s biggest economies shows even developed nations want to burn cheap coal.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, boosted consumption of the fuel by 13 percent in the past four years, while use in Britain, No. 3 in the region economically, rose 22 percent, statistics from oil company BP Plc show. While Germany pledged to cut heat-trapping gases 55 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels, it’s managed 25 percent so far and is moving in the wrong direction, according to the European Environment Agency.
The need for cheap energy is still a higher priority than the environment.