US and China Reach Historic Climate Change Deal

US and China Reach Historic Climate Change Deal

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Obama struck a deal today to limit greenhouse gases, with China committing for the first time to cap carbon emissions.

“China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, pledged in the far-reaching agreement to cap its rapidly growing carbon emissions by 2030, or earlier if possible. It also set a daunting goal of increasing the share of non-fossil fuels to 20 percent of the country’s energy mix by 2030,” reports the Washington Post.

The US president unveiled a plan to cut U.S. emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

The announcement is a unique development in the U.S.-China relationship. The world’s two largest economies, energy consumers, and carbon emitters are reaching across traditional divides and working together to demonstrate leadership on an issue that affects the entire world.

Obama believes that nations have a moral obligation to take action on climate change, instead of leaving to future generations a planet beyond their capacity to repair. Over the last year, a spate of scientific studies have laid out the scope and scale of the challenge in the starkest of terms.

“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” says the U.S. National Climate Assessment.

“Without additional mitigation efforts…warming by the end of the 21st century will lead to high to very high risk of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts globally,” concluded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

(READ the story from the Washington Post)

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