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Environment

U.S., China Strike Climate Change Deal To Slash Emissions Of CO2 And Other Greenhouse Gases

Global Warming: Bilateral accord sets stage for completion of a global treaty in 2015

by Glenn Hess
November 13, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 46

In a surprise joint announcement, the U.S. and China on Nov. 12 unveiled a broad range of plans to fight climate change, including new targets to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The world’s two biggest economies—and two largest emitters of greenhouse gases—have achieved “an historic agreement,” President Barack Obama said at a news conference in Beijing on the final day of a three-day visit to China.

Under the agreement, the U.S. vowed to cut its emissions 26–28% below 2005 levels before 2025. In comparison, the U.S. in 2009 committed to ratchet down its emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.

Meanwhile, President Xi Jinping of China said his country would “peak,” or begin to taper down, its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. China will also aim to get 20% of its energy from sources that emit zero carbon—which could include solar, wind, and hydropower—by the same year.

The deal represents “a major milestone in the U.S.-China relationship,” Obama declared. “It shows what’s possible when we work together on an urgent global challenge.”

U.S. officials say the commitments, which are the result of months of negotiations, should encourage other countries to set aggressive targets and will inject momentum into talks on a new global climate change treaty. Another round of talks is scheduled for next month in Lima, Peru. Negotiators hope to conclude a global pact in December 2015 at a meeting in Paris.

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Comments
Ken Baer (November 20, 2014 6:11 PM)
So called "Green House Gas" (GHG) emissions are not harming our environment. This is an attempt by GHG phobics to make believe they are doing something positive while they waste government money and cause the reduction of employment when they cause many people to lose their jobs, and many companies to scale back needed production. This is not good policy and should not be continued. Please stop listening to politics and start listening to the actual science that shows we need carbon dioxide (CO2) as necessary to our lives as well as the general environment. We don't need hysteria about GHG and climate change. The environment and atmosphere are constantly changing and modifying our environment. It is shameful to teach kids in school that they should be frightened when climate changes. John Kerry is our there telling lies; it is time to recognize that climate is a dynamic process, not a static "one size fits all" experiment. Climate is interacting and self-correcting. Have a nice day and enjoy the great outdoors, whether it is in the sun or in the snow.

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