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US and China set historic greenhouse emissions levels

November 12, 2014
Barack Obama and Xi Jinping

Barack Obama and Xi Jinping

Following the APEC Summit in Beijing, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a climate change agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping that would cut both countries’ greenhouse gas emissions by close to a third over the next two decades.

The United States would cut between 26-28% of the level of its carbon emissions below levels set in 2005 by the year 2025, and China would peak their emissions by 2030 — with the intention to peak at an earlier date and increase the use of non-fossil fuels by 20% by that same deadline. This is up to an additional 800-1,000 gigawatts of nuclear, wind, solar and other zero emission generation capacity by 2030.

The new U.S. goal will double the pace of carbon pollution reduction from 1.2 percent per year on average during the 2005-2020 period to 2.3-2.8 percent per year on average between 2020 and 2025.  This ambitious target is grounded in intensive analysis of cost-effective carbon pollution reductions achievable under existing law and will keep the United States on the right trajectory to achieve deep economy-wide reductions on the order of 80 percent by 2050.

The Administration’s steady efforts to reduce emissions will deliver ever-larger carbon pollution reductions, public health improvements and consumer savings over time and provide a firm foundation to meet the new U.S. target.

The United States will submit its 2025 target to the Framework Convention on Climate Change as an “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution” no later than the first quarter of 2015.

The joint announcement marks the first time China has agreed to peak its CO2 emissions. The United States expects that China will succeed in peaking its emissions before 2030 based on its broad economic reform program, plans to address air pollution, and implementation of President Xi’s call for an energy revolution.

On top of historic climate change agreement, Obama and Xi also agreed on the importance of cybersecurity, the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, strengthening military relations and increasing trade.

For more information on the announcement, visit The White House website here.

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