What have countries done in response to the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change?

Other targets of greatest relevance and interest to Canada include those of China, (which has already surpassed the US as the world’s largest emitter), NAFTA partner Mexico, Australia (like Canada, a major resource exporter and carbon-intensive economy) and the EU, where Canada is engaged in comprehensive trade and investment negotiations.

China, which considers itself as a developing nation, proposes that by 2020 developed nations should reduce GHG emissions by at least 40% from their 1990 levels. China’s commitment is to “endeavour” to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy in 2020 by 40-45% from 2005 levels. The significant difference is the base year: 2005 for China and 1990 for developed countries. China’s has stated that laws, regulations and standards will be formulated and fiscal, taxation, pricing and financial measures will be introduced to manage and facilitate the implementation of the targets.

Mexico has ratified the Kyoto Accord. Mexico’s emissions are average for a developing country, but are increasing. Mexico’s 2020 target is to reduce its 2002 level of carbon intensity by 50%, a very ambitious target.

Australia has set an unconditional 2020 target of 5% less than 2000 levels, with escalating conditional targets of 15% and 25% relative to 2000 levels. (Note: an Australian target of 15% less than 2000 levels is roughly equivalent to Canada’s Copenhagen pledge).

The EU-27 nations have now agreed to the Copenhagen Accord with a 2020 target of 20% less than 1990 levels. The combined emissions of the EU-27, which totalled 5748 Mt in 1990, fell nearly 6% in the period 1990-1997 to 5434 Mt. due primarily to the shutdown of the old facilities in former countries in communist bloc. Annual emissions have remained essentially flat in the years since the signing of the Kyoto Accord, totalling 5446 Mt. in 2005. As a result, the EU-27’s 2020 target of “20% less than 1990” levels translates into “15% less than 2005 levels”, or approximately 90% of the North American commitments.

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