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Historic Climate Accord between USA-China
Nov 15, 2014

China and the United States made common cause against the threat of climate change, staking out an ambitious joint plan to curb carbon emissions as a way to spur nations around the world to make their own cuts in greenhouse gases.

The landmark agreement, jointly announced in Beijing by President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping, includes new targets for carbon emissions reductions by the United States and a first-ever commitment by China  to stop its emissions from growing by 2030.

The agreement, which was worked out quietly between the United States and China over nine months could galvanize efforts to negotiate a new global climate agreement by 2015.

The USA and China also agreed to a military accord designed to avert clashes between Chinese and American planes and warships in the tense waters off the Chinese coast, as well as an understanding to cut tariffs for technology products.

A climate deal between China and the United States, the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 carbon polluters, is viewed as essential to concluding a new global accord. Unless Beijing and Washington can resolve their differences, few other countries will agree to mandatory cuts in emissions, and any meaningful worldwide pact will be likely to founder.

As part of the agreement, The USA announced that the United States would emit 26 percent to 28 percent less carbon in 2025 than it did in 2005. That is double the pace of reduction it targeted for the period from 2005 to 2020.

China’s pledge to reach peak carbon emissions by 2030, if not sooner, is even more remarkable. To reach that goal, China pledged that so-called clean energy sources, like solar power and windmills would account for 20 percent of China’s total energy production by 2030.

The maneuvering came during a conference of Pacific Rim economies held in Beijing that has showcased China’s growing dominance in Asia, but also the determination of the United States, riding a resurgent economy, to reclaim its historical role as a Pacific power.


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