China is due to unveil a new proposal at the gathering Tuesday, but its plans to cut "carbon intensity" rather than limit emissions may not satisfy US lawmakers.
China is expected Tuesday to announce a plan to reduce its carbon emissions as a percentage of gross domestic product. Such a plan would boost China's commitment to help combat global warming, while allowing Beijing to preserve its high-growth strategy.But it could leave United States lawmakers cold.
Chinese President Hu Jintao will address the United Nations Tuesday on climate change, as will US President Barack Obama. The two countries are the biggest emitters of the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming, and their participation is key to any meaningful climate change deal. They remain at odds, however, over the level of China's responsibility for carbon cuts.
Neither country ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, but many observers have high hopes that the two economic giants will sign on to a new deal in Copenhagen in December. About 190 countries will meet there to set new emissions reduction targets for industrialized countries, to replace the targets set by the Kyoto Protocol, which expire in 2012.