China takes a leap forward

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China stole the show today at the the UN summit on climate change by stating its plans to invest massively in energy-saving technology and nuclear power. Hu Jintao, the Chinese President, also pledged to “cut carbon emissions per unit of GDP by a notable margin by 2020. » Pretty vague still, and it’s worth remembering that these amount to a commitment to reduce China’s energy intensity – not emission cuts per se. But in the lead up to Copenhagen (and the upcoming debate in the U.S. about passing climate change legislation), it is promising news nonetheless.