The US and China have announced a deal to reduce their CO2 emissions, boosting hopes that a global climate deal may be agreed in Paris next year.
Under the agreement the US will cut its emissions by 26 – 28% of 2005 levels by 2025, while China has committed to peaking its emissions by 2030. It is the first time the China has set a date for its emissions to peak and includes a commitment to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
“Our announcement can inject momentum into the global climate negotiations,” said John Kerry, vice president of the US, writing in the New York Times. “The commitment of both presidents to take ambitious action in our own countries, and work closely to remove obstacles on the road to Paris, sends an important signal that we must get this agreement done, that we can get it done and that we will get it done.”
Despite such optimism, there will be reservations over President Obama’s ability to get the agreement past a Republican-controlled Congress that has so-far shown implacable opposition to any plans to limit carbon emissions.
"This unrealistic plan, that the president would dump on his successor, would ensure higher utility rates and far fewer jobs," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said.
The US and China are the two largest emitters of CO2, accounting for about 40% of the world’s total emissions.
Written by Jonathan Rowland.
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