On 19th January, 2011 Barack Obama and Hu Jintao make a joint statement with the usual boilerplate about climate change and energy security.
This was yet another bit of fence-mending after the horrorshow of Copenhagen. As usual, US Big Green called (for the twenty gazillionth time) for a ‘wartime-like mobilization’ to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Three and a half-years later, ahead of the G20, the US and China actually make some more specific statements. Possibly motivated by a desire to make Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott look even more silly.
Even more context:
These are the two big beasts. What they do matters. If you want to start to get your head around it, have a read of Jeff Goodell’s excellent piece in Rolling Stone China, the Climate and the Fate of the Planet.