Climate change needs united effort

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, June 12, 2010
Adjust font size:

Visiting former US Vice-president Al Gore admitted China is in "different circumstances" to his country in tackling global warming but he urged the two countries to move together swiftly to win the climate race against time.

"Any time we talk about international cooperation, the different circumstances should be taken into consideration," Gore told China Daily during an exclusive interview.

He didn't specify the different circumstances, but though China is the world's biggest carbon emitter, per capita emissions are still low, and historically it has emitted far less than the US.

"I have no doubt about the determination of Chinese leaders and people to make the low-carbon transition, nor do I have any doubts that the US will do so," he said.

"But both China and the US must move quickly as global warming is continuously building up in the earth's atmosphere at the rate of 19 million tons of carbon emissions every day," he said.

He praised China for its achievements so far in transferring to low-carbon energy resources and improvements in energy efficiency, but said: "Both China and the US are facing the challenges of being highly dependent on a dirty and polluting energy source: coal If there is no action, we are going to face the tough scenarios scientists are warning of."

Gore said it is a race against time, but added: "I am optimistic after talking with Chinese leaders about their plans to make the transition to a low-carbon society."

Gore held a private discussion with State Councilor Liu Yandong on Wednesday, whom he dubbed a "real expert" on climate change and technology.

During the talk, Gore said he cited an African proverb - If one wants to go quickly, go alone, and if one wants to go far, go together - to illustrate the cooperation between China and the US, two countries he called the world's biggest polluters and sources of global warming.

"We have touched on the topics of how to work harmoniously and we are ready to go far quickly and work harmoniously," Gore said without elaborating further.

A milestone vote

The US Senate voted down a Republican-led effort to strip President Barack Obama of the ability to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions on Thursday and Gore said this vote was a milestone event and has "profound implications."

"We reaffirmed our policy of reducing carbon dioxide," Gore said.

Gore said that two thirds of the American people support introducing low-carbon initiatives.

However, critics said the narrow 53-47 vote, which attracted the support of some prominent Democrats, sent a signal to Obama about how difficult it will be to get major climate and energy reforms through Congress.

But Gore said the implications of the vote on Thursday are quite profound as a climate change and new energy law, which requires Washington to cut carbon emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, is still pending in the Senate,

"The implication is that if the pending law is not passed, carbon dioxide pollution will be reduced forcibly anyway by the executive branch of the government," said Gore.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from