The US and China agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Nov 13, 2014 18:40 IST

China and the US on 12 November 2014 agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Both the countries have unveiled new pledges on greenhouse gas emissions.
US President Barack Obama set a new goal of reducing US levels between 26%-28% by 2025, compared with 2005 levels.
China did not set a specific target, but said emissions would peak by 2030. The two countries also agreed to reduce the possibility of military accidents in the air and sea.
The news came during a state visit by Obama to Beijing on the sidelines of APEC summit.

It is the first time China, the world's biggest polluter, has set an approximate date for emissions to peak.
The two countries together produce about 45% of the world's carbon dioxide.
The unexpected announcement is a bid to boost efforts to secure a global deal on reducing emissions after 2020, to be finalised next year in Paris.

Comment
Earlier, China had only pledged to reduce the rapid rate of growth in its emissions. Now it is the first time that China has promised to increase its use of energy from zero-emission sources to 20% by 2030. China's offer to peak emissions is a long-awaited decision. Its emissions trajectory is now similar to Europe and the USA.
For years the US feared if it cut emissions, energy bills would rise - and divert jobs to China. President Obama's offer is based on cuts in carbon emissions from coal power.
Scientists will fear this agreement is not yet strong enough. But it does show leadership - and it sends a powerful signal to financiers that investing in dirty fuels for the future is becoming a risk.

 

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