The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Steve Ertel
(202) 495-4562

China and US Both Have Capacity to Measure and Report CO2 Emissions, Says WWF

Questions Over Measuring and Reporting of Emissions have Been Source of Contention Between Countries

BONN, Germany

The United States and China, by far the world's two biggest emitters
of greenhouse gas pollution, have the technology and processes in place
right now to accurately measure and report their emissions of CO2
and other heat-trapping gases, according to a new
issued today by World Wildlife Fund.

"The US and China
have historically been at loggerheads when it comes to measuring and
reporting emissions," said Keya Chatterjee, Director of WWF's Climate
Program in the US. "This report finds that there is ample opportunity
for both countries to work collaboratively and learn from each other.
Working together is essential for reducing tensions and fostering an
environment of trust that will be needed for a fair, ambitious and
binding international climate treaty."

With the US and China
accounting for approximately 40 percent of CO2 emissions,
cooperation between the two countries, including around the measuring
and reporting of emissions, is viewed by WWF as critical to addressing
climate change. At the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, disagreements
between the US and China on emissions reporting and transparency nearly
ground the international talks to a halt.

negotiators are currently meeting in Bonn, Germany, picking up where the
Copenhagen climate talks left off. Negotiators are specifically
discussing the measuring, reporting and verification of emissions at the
Bonn summit.

WWF's report, Counting
the Gigatonnes: Building Trust in Greenhouse Gas Inventories from the
United States and China
, outlines the systems already in place
in both countries that can ensure accurate and timely data on greenhouse
gas emissions. The report concludes that the US and China are
committed to making significant progress in building capacity to track
and report emissions and finds that each country currently has the
capability to measure its emissions, albeit in different ways.

report outlines areas in which the two countries could improve
collaboration and learn from each other's experiences. For example, the
report finds that China could learn from the US's long experience in
conducting surveys, more regular reporting, and disclosure of primary
data and methodologies; while the US could gain from China's recent
experience in ensuring the validity of self-reporting structures through
robust auditing and regular spot-checking.

"Because the US does
not yet regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other
large emitters, those emissions sources in the US have no reason to lie
about their emissions," said Chatterjee. "Lack of regulation of
greenhouse gas emissions may increase the reliability of US data, but it
hurts the ability of the US to compete with China in the clean energy

"If the US wants to compete with China in the clean
energy economy, it will require increased collaboration with China and
it will require the US to implement the comprehensive clean energy and
climate legislation currently being debated in the US Senate,"
Chatterjee said.

WWF's report, Counting
the Gigatonnes: Building Trust in Greenhouse Gas Inventories from the
United States and China
, is available here.

World Wildlife Fund is the largest multinational conservation organization in the world, works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.