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IEA welcomes US and Chinese CO2 targets

The IEA welcomes the recent announcements made by the US and Chinese governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions, recognising these as key steps to get a global, meaningful agreement in Copenhagen. Both of these announced targets are in line with the World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2009 450 Scenario, that aims to limit the long-term concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million of carbon-dioxide equivalent – in line with keeping the global temperature rise to around 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

The US target of cutting greenhouse gases by 17% in 2020 versus 2005 compares with the projected CO2 reduction of 18% domestically in the WEO 450 Scenario. The Chinese intensity targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45% by 2020 versus 2005 compares with a 47% suggested improvement in the 450 Scenario.

At the IEA Ministerial meeting in October, a large majority of Ministers showed their intention to take the lead, organise themselves and commit to the challenge to reach the 450 Scenario - the energy path of Green Growth. Details of the Scenario analysis and its implications on energy sector for the United States, China and other key economies, as well as required investments, were released at the UNFCCC meeting in October in Bangkok, a fundamental session in the run-up to Copenhagen, to inform negotiators on the changes needed in the energy sector (available at

The full IEA climate change analysis is included in the WEO 2009 (

Source : Communiqué IEA

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