It is difficult to convince people that lowering their standard of living or paying more for renewable energy is a good thing. Especially when countries far away (China and the US) stand for such a high proportion of the CO2 emissions that your own contribution seems negligible. In the last couple of days both the US and China have taken a step in the right direction by announcing long term plans for cutting emissions in order to reduce the effects of climate change. Hopefully, this will convince people that change is on the way and that we should all be part of it.
"The government will use two ways to control CO2 emissions in the next five-year plan, by intensity and an absolute cap," Reuters reported He as saying. Though not a government official, He is a high level advisor. While environmentalists broadly welcomed the remarks, they cautioned that it was far from clear at what level the cap would be set and said it needed to be enforceable. China's emissions have risen dramatically in the last two decades, overtaking those from the US – the previous biggest producer – in 2006. Although the average Chinese person's carbon footprint is still much lower than the average American's, it is catching up, and is now on a par with the average European's. He's remarks come just a day after the Obama administration implemented tough new rules to cut carbon emissions from power plants 30% by 2030.