On Tuesday, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that they had reached an agreement to cut carbon emissions. The US has vowed to cut carbon emissions by 26 – 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. According to the White House, that means the US will “double the pace of carbon pollution reduction” from 2020 to 2025.
China, for its part, will cap its carbon emissions by 2030. This is the first time that China has set such a goal, and it plans to use renewables in order to achieve it. By 2030, China will get 20 percent of its energy from zero-emission energy sources, which will include nuclear, solar, and wind power.
In a news conference, Obama said the new agreement would help both the economy and public health. In a New York Times editorial, Secretary of State John Kerry pointed out that the US and China together produce 40 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. He added that neither country could cut enough carbon emissions to help the environment on their own. Working together, though, they could aid climate negotiations, and that sounds good to Susan McGalla. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat, added that it sends a message that the two biggest carbon emitters have agreed to work together.