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PIK STATEMENT on the US-China climate target announcement

The US and China announced an agreement on climate targets

On this issue Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research: “By announcing to stop its CO2 emissions from growing by 2030 or earlier, China is turning the steering wheel of that huge vessel which is international climate policy. This does not mean it is setting a straight course to the target of keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees, and this vessel is awfully slow to turn around. But the new course will move it in the right direction at last. It is most remarkable that China has entered the ship’s bridge and has decided to take matters into its own hands.”


On this issue Prof. Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research: “The recent announcement by the US and China is indeed a historic milestone on the road to limit the risks of climate change, even though it is not enough to do the job. Still, the world’s two largest economies are sending a strong signal that could shape the expectations of investors and thus give a push to the technological progress we need to steer away from burning fossil fuels. Science shows that effective climate change mitigation takes substantial effort, but is feasible and affordable – in fact, it would reduce annual economic growth by about 0.06 percent globally, according to the latest comprehensive IPCC assessment. From an economist’s perspective, the best way is to put a price tag on CO2 internationally.”


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research 2014

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