Monday, August 03, 2009

If You Don't Like My Apples, Don't Shake My Tree

Asian giants put the West’s targets for solar energy in the shade

by Jeremy Page

For years India and China have been cast in the West as the biggest obstacles to international agreement on how to tackle climate change. Now the two emerging economic giants of Asia have challenged the West to match their bold plans to develop solar power.

India’s unveiling of a National Solar Mission comes soon after China revised its solar energy targets upwards to 2 gigawatts (2 billion watts) installed capacity by 2010 and 20GW by 2020.

India now aims to produce 10 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2020, while China is targeting 20 per cent. China is already the world’s fourth largest producer of wind power and makes half of the world’s solar panels.

By contrast President Obama has set a goal of 10 per cent renewable energy use by 2012 and 25 per cent by 2025, but has yet to lay out a plan to achieve those targets — which are being watered down by Congress.

The European Union has committed to producing 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, but member states have also been slow to provide details of how to meet the target.

India and China are now certain to showcase their relatively bold plans during international negotiations in Copenhagen in December to try to agree a new treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

Western countries have long argued that China and India must agree to specific limits on their carbon emissions as they are now the world’s biggest and fourth biggest producers respectively of greenhouse gases.

Beijing and Delhi oppose that demand, insisting that the West must be the first to act because it has caused most of the world’s industrial pollution.

Balance of article: TimesOnline

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