The European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) writes of the German reaction to the “announcement” made by a prominent Chinese figure, He Jiankun, who yesterday stated that CO2 in his country would be capped. The announcement sent waves of euphoria throughout the global media and top climate officials. It appeared to be the long-awaited breakthrough. But the euphoria was short-lived. Jiankuntook it all back, claiming: “That was my personal opinion.” […] “What I said does not represent the position of the Chinese government or organization.”
At first the announcement was viewed as a major policy shift, all coming on the heels of President Obama’s announcement to take action against CO2 emissions. But the euphoria turned to disappointment just hours later.
There is more on the farce in New York Times: Behind the Mask – A Reality Check on China’s Plans for a Carbon Cap.
The media and activists greeted the “announcement” as covetously as a craving junkie welcomes his next long-overdue fix, EIKE describes. This is shown by the reactions from German top officials and activists.
Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research was ecstatic and spoke of a boost for climate policy worldwide:
It is remarkable that both China and the USA appear to be ready to take over once again the leadership role. Also for Europe it could now be the time to wake up from its climate fatigue.”
The PIK press release with Schellnhuber’s comments has since been taken down from the PIK website.
Spiegel Online wrote:
‘Should China indeed introduce an absolute upper limit for its emissions of greenhouse gases, it would be a boost for climate policy worldwide,’ commented Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. ‘Science shows that the planet is approaching more and more tipping points in the climate system.’ The big question is: How strict will China’s emissions level be?”
German activist group Germanwatch wrote:
Today’s announcement of China introducing an absolute emissions upper limit is viewed by Germanwatch as a possible turning point in international climate negotiations. ‘The USA and China are providing dynamism in international climate policy. The EU must follow this example by adding on really ambitious climate and energy targets for 2030,’ demands Christoph Bals, policy director of Germanwatch. ‘Europe risks going from once being the most important forerunner, to being the biggest climate brake.’
Even though the Chinese announcement has since turned out to be a farce, Germanwatch has no qualms about leaving its false comments up and continuing to fool the press.
End-of-world theorist and activist website Klimaretter also gleefully welcome the “announcement”. It writes:
But of course then came the bitter disappointment. For the activists it was a very late April Fools’ prank.