Can China benefit from adopting a binding emissions target?
In the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit, the USA announced an emissions reduction target of 17% by 2020 (relative to 2005), and the EU of 20-30% (relative to 1990). For the same time horizon, China offered to reduce the CO2-intensity of its economy by 40-45% (relative to 2005), but rejects a legally binding commitment. We use the targets announced by the EU and the USA to analyze the potential gain for China if it were to adopt a binding emissions target and join an international emissions trading scheme. We show that China would likely benefit from choosing a binding target well below its projected baseline emissions for 2020.
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