Will China lead the green revolution?


For anyone who watched the recent speeches by U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Hu Jintao at the United Nations, the difference between the character of their content was remarkable. Obama failed to give specific promises on just about anything. Instead, he boasted that his stimulus package had returned the U.S. to a leadership role in the global climate change debate. How's that? It showered $80 billion in U.S. funds on cleaner technology development and production facilities, he said.

Hu was more concrete, saying China would plant 150,000 square miles of trees, an area roughly the size of Montana. He also said renewable sources would produce 15 percent of the Middle Kingdom's energy by 2020, according to the AP. What's more, Hu also pledged to slow the growth of China's emissions. Although this last pledge was a bit squishy, it looked positively robust compared to Obama's lack of specificity on things green.