Muted response to China’s UN climate speech

The Independent this morning promised that, “China lays down challenge to Obama on climate.” It went on:

“Officials in Beijing indicated last night that Mr Hu would arrive in Manhattan this morning ready to unveil ‘important’ plans for reducing China’s carbon dioxide emissions, which could break the deadlock in negotiations.”

According to the BBC, in his speech Hu said China would “endeavour to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by a notable margin by 2020 from the 2005 level.” But observers providing immediate reaction have been underwhelmed. Michael Levi of the Center on Foreign Relations tweeted:

Hu Jintao just spoke. Doesn’t seem that he made the much-anticipated significant announcement that people were hoping for.”

Matthew McDermott of TreeHugger was kinder, tweeting:

“Hu Jintao just spoke – more management of expectation regarding emission reductions – not bad overall”

Vikki Chowney taking part in ClimateVoice was more enthusiastic tweeting that the speech was, “Much stronger than expected…”

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