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Is China working to reduce carbon?

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Tyrone Siu/Reuters/File

(Read caption) In this file photo, a Chinese national flag flies in Hong Kong. China may be working to reduce carbon emissions in an effort to shake its dismal environmental reputation, Kahn argues.

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Why is China setting out credible energy intensity reduction targets?   Have they been motivated by pep talks by Tom Friedman and Al Gore?

 I don't believe that this will cut global GHG emissions but it will slow the growth of global GHG emissions and it will accelerate the introduction and diffusion of new technologies that will break the link between GHG emissions and economic growth.  Perhaps we aren't doomed.  

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We still don't fully understand why China is offering the world such a "gift".  Does Beijing value losing the tag of being a global green villain?  Are their leaders concerned that Peak Oil is a real threat and they want to have an implicit insurance policy in case the ecological economists are correct?