“It may be counter-intuitive, but a global economic slowdown could help the United States and China work together on climate change,” writes Deborah Seligsohn from the World Resources Institute in the Guardian:
After years of very rapid growth, China’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions now look to be slowing sharply. One major factor: China’s energy efficiency and renewable energy policies—now in their third year—have begun to make a real impact at the provincial and local levels.
We are already seen slowing growth in the cement industry and a decline in annual steel output. Electricity demand in October was down 4% over the same month a year ago, the first such decline in almost seven years. The global economic slowdown will accelerate these trends.
For several years, the Chinese government has been sponsoring a shift from energy-intensive to knowledge-intensive jobs and economic activity. China’s recently-announced $586 billion stimulus package (Rmb4,000bn, £380bn) will transform its economy even faster, by promoting economic restructuring and essential green infrastructure