BEIJING — During his visit to China, President Obama issued a joint announcement with President Xi Jinping of China in which each country agreed to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. President Obama announced a new target to cut net greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. At the same time, President Xi announced that China would set a target to peak its CO2 emissions around 2030, with the intention to try to peak earlier, and to increase its non-fossil fuel share of energy to around 20 percent by 2030.

The White House said that, together, the United States and China account for over one third of global greenhouse gas emissions. With this joint announcement, which comes after months of talks, the two countries are making a major move in addressing climate change. The Obama administration said these actions will also inject momentum into global climate negotiations on the road to reaching a new climate agreement next year in Paris.

The new U.S. goal will double the pace of carbon pollution reduction from 1.2 percent per year on average during the 2005-2020 period to 2.3-2.8 percent per year on average between 2020 and 2025. The White House said this ambitious target is grounded in intensive analysis of cost-effective carbon pollution reductions achievable under existing law and will put the United States on the path to achieve deep economy-wide reductions on the order of 80 percent by 2050.

Building on the historic Sunnylands agreement between President Obama and President Xi regarding HFC refrigerants, the United States and China will enhance cooperation to begin phasing down the use of high global warming potential HFCs, including technical cooperation to promote HFC alternatives.

The U.S. will also undertake a number of pilot programs, feasibility studies, and other collaborative efforts to promote China’s energy efficiency and renewable energy goals.

Publication date: 11/10/2014

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