Climate change: US and China reach agreement on greenhouse gas emissions reduction

Climate change: US and China reach agreement on greenhouse gas emissions reduction

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Beijing on Wednesday at a summit on climate change where they reached an agreement on long term carbon emissions reductions. China for the first time said its carbon emissions would peak no later than 2030 and that it would increase the share of its energy consumption from non fossil fuel sources such as nuclear, wind and solar power to 20 percent by 2030. The U.S. said it aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, the Wall Street journal reported. According to environmental experts quoted by Reuters, however, although the Chinese and U.S. commitments send an important message on a political level, the targets do not go far enough to tackle the climate change problem. According to the Guardian, in the U.S. the targets could also be threatened by the newly elected Republican-dominated Congress, as the agreement is seen by Republicans in Congress as unrealistic. The Wall Street Journal said Republicans also believe the agreement would impose heavy costs on the countrys coal industry. China and the U.S. are the worlds biggest polluters. Their combined carbon dioxide emissions total around 45 percent of the world’s emissions, while Europe accounts for 11 percent, ABC News reported.

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