POZNAN, Poland (Reuters) – President-elect Barack Obama’s goals for curbing greenhouse gases to 2020 are inadequate to fight global warming, Chinese and Indian delegates told Reuters at U.N. climate talks on Wednesday.
Developing nations welcomed Obama’s plan for tougher goals than President George W. Bush but said Obama’s target of cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020 was not enough to avoid dangerous global warming.
“It’s more ambitious than President Bush but it is not enough to achieve the urgent, long-term goal of greenhouse gas reductions,” Tsinghua University’s He Jiankun, of the Chinese delegation, said on the sidelines of the December 1-12 talks.
U.S. emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, are running about 14 percent above 1990 levels and Bush’s plans had foreseen emissions rising and only peaking in 2025. Obama also plans to cut emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
“It’s not ambitious enough considering the Kyoto Protocol targets, but given the eight-year Bush administration it’s progress,” said Dinesh Patnaik, a director at the Indian Foreign Ministry.