“Obama vows drastic emissions cut, gets little back from China in new deal” – KCA News Info, 12 November 2014

Earlier this month, President Obama revealed that the US and China have been in secret talks about a climate accord between the two nations.

According to the agreement, the US’s new goal is to curb greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 26 percent and a maximum of 28 percent in the next 11 years. Obama’s new goal is now significantly higher; previously, he vowed that the US would reduce emissions by 17 percent by 2020.

General Secretary Xi Jinping has set a much more open-ended goal for China: that the country’s emissions will climax by 2030, or conceivably earlier. Jinping also agreed that China will decrease its dependency on fossil fuels and seek out alternative energy sources. The number of coal-fired power plants has recently increased in China, which has vastly been contributing to China’s emissions. China releases 30 percent of the world’s emissions.

While the incoming Republican majority-held Congress will greatly dislike the new legislation — many view the plan as impossible and a detriment to jobs — environmentalists and many Democrats are supporting Obama’s decision. Obama’s plan, which will be the US’s offering at the 2015 Paris worldwide treaty, shows how assertive Obama is willing to be in the climate debate, using his legislation both as a tool to lessen the impact of climate change and push other nations to also provide ambitious goals for decreasing the effects of climate change.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

November 12, 2014

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2014. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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One thought on ““Obama vows drastic emissions cut, gets little back from China in new deal” – KCA News Info, 12 November 2014

  1. Hello Subodh,

    Thank you for this thought-provoking post. The media has been filled with stories like this, saying that Obama promised deep cuts in climate emissions which will damage our economy, while Xi’s pledge lets China off the hook for the next 16 years.

    In fact, the opposite is true. Obama promised nothing new at all, his pledge of 26-28% reduction in 11 years is exactly in line with previous pledges and our current trends, requiring no new action beyond what has already been proposed. Xi’s pledge will force China to make transformational changes in deploying clean energy, eliminating a lot of coal-fired electricity, and changing the way transportation is powered.

    A graph published by the New York Times illustrates this clearly: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/12/world/asia/climate-goals-pledged-by-us-and-china-2.html
    As the graph shows, U.S. emissions are trending down sharply, meeting or beating Obama’s 2009 climate pledges. China’s emissions are soaring, and bending that curve sharply to stop growing by 2030 will be an enormous accomplishment.

    Thus we have nothing new for the US, but the first ever concrete commitment by China to curtail its emissions. Your headline above could not be farther from the truth.

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