Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Many of the world's biggest emitters of carbon dioxide filed plans for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 with the United Nations this past week in compliance with the January 31 deadline set by the Copenhagan Accord. 55 nations filed such plans, representing 78% of the worlds' emissions. The United States was among those nations who submitted a plan. The United States has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020 as compared to 2005 levels. (President Obama also ordered federal agencies to cut their emissions by 28%). The European Union pledged a 20% reduction, as did India, while China committed to reduce its emissions by 40%. The plans are purely voluntary and no enforcement mechanisms are built into the Copenhagen Accord, but it is at least a step in the right direction.