China agrees to participate in post-Kyoto negotiations

China has agreed to participate in talks about a framework to fight global warming after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. Enviros danced a joyful jig, as the decision puts pressure on other, non-communicative nations (we’re not naming names). China is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol as a developing country, so its emissions aren’t regulated under the current agreement, but by 2013 it may well be the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases. Premier Wen Jiabao made the announcement Wednesday along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; the two countries, which are trying to rebuild their rocky relationship, will also cooperate to reduce pollution, monitor toxins, conserve water and energy, and (sigh) pursue “clean coal” and nuclear development. China wasted no time following up on its green responsibilities: yesterday, the state press reported that China aims to reduce coal consumption 3 percent and increase the energy generated by natural gas to 20.5 percent by 2010. Hey, it’s a start.