Yes, the United States has still not made any progress on the piece of legislation regarding the climate that would actually set a price for carbon.
In fact, Mr. John Kerry has recently said that the chances of that particular piece of legislation passing now are very low.
China however may be in the process of doing that very thing, the promise that the US is failing to keep.
China Daily, a Chinese newspaper ran an article about this recently. According to the article, China may be nearing the point where they will be able to enact a carbon trading system nationally. From all indications, this trading program for domestic carbon will in fact be mandatory by no later than 2015.
This is all in an effort to meet the 2020 target for carbon intensity that China has set. That being said, they still do not know exactly which way they will be going about this. This is a bone of contention right now among the various involved industries and experts.
There is a similar debate that is ongoing in the United States. This is why the legislation has not neared passing yet. No one knows if this system should begin with pre-selected industries, or whether the existing targets for a reduction in carbon intensity should be changed to carbon allowances for some of the industries, or even if caps on emissions that are absolute should be put into effect.
The only thing that is certain at this point is that any changes that will be made will be ruled and governed strictly by China, and it will not have anything to do with anything that is put into place by international negotiations, or any global agreement on climate change that may come in the future.
China is currently the leader in carbon emissions in the entire world. However, China, even with its incredibly long and vast history is claiming that they are a ‘developing nation’ and as such are not required to hold to UNFCCC principles regarding commitments on emission reduction.
China currently surpasses France for things like per capita emissions. They are also the largest consumer of energy in the world. That being said, it would be unfair not to mention that they are also the largest carbon emitter in the world.
It is good to see that they are finally taking responsibility for their actions and trying to do something to correct the damage that they have been doing to the environment.