Mixed Reactions to U.S.-China Climate Talks

Posted May 28, 2009 at 9:23pm

A bipartisan Congressional delegation, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), on Thursday signaled that little progress was made after five days of meetings focused on U.S.-China climate talks.During a press event in Beijing, Pelosi said she felt “hopeful— that the United States and China — the two largest producers of carbon emissions — could broker a deal on climate change legislation. “But much more needs to be done,— Pelosi said.Energy Independence and Global Warming Chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said he came away from discussions “with some sense that we can reach an agreement.— Markey noted, however, that reaching a U.S.-China agreement on the issue “is going to be one of the most complex, diplomatic negotiations in the history of the world.— Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the ranking member on the Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee, had a more pessimistic take on the meetings.“I am very discouraged at the conversations that we have had with all of our Chinese counterparts during this visit,— Sensenbrenner said. “It’s business as usual for China. The message that I received was that China was going to do it their way regardless of what the rest of the world negotiates in Copenhagen,— he said, referring to the United Nations summit on climate change being held in Denmark this year.Sensenbrenner criticized the “very interesting math— used by Chinese officials to link their proposed emissions reductions to the size of China’s economy, which is growing significantly. They are proposing to do so while still “calling for the rest of the world to reduce their emissions below current levels. That is frankly unacceptable,— he said.Members of the delegation also included Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.).Other topics discussed in the meetings included North Korea’s testing of nuclear weapons and China’s human rights record, an issue that Pelosi said was the focus of “candid— conversations.”There is no partisan divide in the Congress between Democrats and Republicans on the issue of human rights in China, and we’ve brought this issue up in every meeting that we’ve had with the national Chinese leadership,” Sensenbrenner added.