White House and China Set Historic Greenhouse Gas Emissions Levels

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Beijing (CNN) — At the end of the APEC trade summit in China, U.S. President Barack Obama announced a climate change agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping that would cut both countries’ greenhouse gas emissions by close to a third over the next two decades.

Under the deal, the United States would cut its carbon emissions between 26-28% — from levels established in 2005 — by 2025. China would peak its carbon emissions no later than 2030 and would also increase the use of non-fossil fuels to 20% by 2030.

“As the world’s two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change,” Obama said Wednesday in a joint press conference with Xi.

Obama said he hopes the announcement will spur other nations to tackle climate change. “We hope to encourage all major economies to be ambitious — all countries, developing and developed — to work across some of the old divides, so we can conclude a strong global climate agreement next year,” Obama said.

The White House said the ultimate target is to “achieve deep economy-wide reductions on the order of 80% by 2050.”

A senior administration official calls the goals both “ambitious and achievable,” but also acknowledged that U.S. domestic politics could put a damper on the announcement. Saying “leading climate deniers” in the GOP might try to stop the initiative, the official hinted the President may act alone if necessary.

“Congress may try to stop us, but we believe that with control of Congress changing hands we can proceed with the authority we already have.” The official added, “This is really the crusade of a narrow group of people who are politically motivated and have made this a cause celebre, but we believe we will be successful.”

The administration hopes to sell the plan back home by touting the anticipated savings on energy costs. “Consumers and businesses will save literally billions of dollars” a senior administration official said. The plan offers initiatives and incentives to develop more solar and wind power across both countries, the official said.

Another official said the agreement “won’t all fall together in five minutes,” but hopes this will demonstrate to other nations that working together to reduce carbon emissions would prove that “we can work together to enhance deployment of sustainable clean technologies.”

The White House said the announcement marks the first time China has agreed to cut its carbon emissions, and said the Chinese are calling for “an energy revolution” that would include a broad economic reform program that would address air pollution.

China has agreed to provide an “additional 800-1,000 gigawatts of nuclear, wind, solar and other zero emission generation capacity by 2030, more than all the coal-fired power plants that exist in China today and close to total current electricity generation capacity.

During Obama’s visit, the Chinese government closed factories and gave employees time off to reduce car traffic and, ultimately, emissions in Beijing. The reduction of smog and the appearance of blue skies was noted by media throughout the APEC Summit.

Another senior administration official said that historically, the United States and China have often been seen as antagonists, so this “should send a powerful message,” and “will usher in a new day, where the U.S. and China can work as partners. We have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change.”

On top of historic climate change agreement, Obama and Xi also agreed on the importance of cybersecurity, the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, strengthening military relations and increasing trade.
By Matt Hoye, CNN Politics Senior White House Producer, 11/12/2014

About Mike Neuman

Identical twin; Long-time advocate of protection of our environment; Married; Father to three sons; Grandfather to one granddaughter; Born and raised in Wisconsin; Graduate of University of Wisconsin; post graduate degrees in agricultural economics and Water Resources Management fro UWMadison; Former School Crossing Guard for City of Madison; Bike to Work for 31 years with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Retired from DNR in 2007; Biked to school crossing guard site 2 X daily for 7 years retiring in 2019; in addition to being an advocate of safeguarding our environment, I am also an advocate for humane treatment of animal, children, and people in need of financial resource for humane living. I am presently a Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Madison, Wisconsin. I oppose all long (>500 miles) distance travel (via fossil fuel burning) for nonessential purposes and all ownership of more than one home. I am opposed to militarism in any form particularly for the purpose of monetary gain. I am a Strong believer in people everywhere having the right to speak their minds openly, without any fear of reprisal, regarding any concerns; especially against those in authority who are not acting for the public good?in a timely fashion and in all countries of the world not just the U S.. My identical twin, Pat, died in June 2009. He was fired from his job with the National Weather Service despite having a long and successful career as a flood forecaster with the Kansas City National Weather Service. He took a new position in the Midwest Regional Office in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, Pat’s work for the NWS went sour after he began to see the evidence for concern about rising global temperatures shortly after relocating to Minneapolis, and how they appeared to effect of flooding on the Red River that flows out of Canada before entering the U.S. in North Dakota. . Pat and I conversed on a regular basis with other scientists on the Yahoo Group named “Climate Concern “ and by personal email. The NWS denied his recommendation to give his public presentation o n his research at the “Minneapolis Mall of America” in February 2000, which deeply affected h,im. I will h He strongly believed the information ought be shared with the public to which I concurred. That was the beginning of the vendetta against my brother, Patrick J. Neuman, for speaking strongly of the obligations the federal government was responsible for accurately informing the citizenry. A way great similar response to my raising the issue of too many greenhouse gases being emitted by drivers of vehicles on Wisconsin highway system, my immediate supervisors directed: “that neither global warming, climate change nor the long term impacts upon the natural resources of Wisconsin from expansion of the state highway system were to be any part of my job requirements, and that I must not communicate, nor in a memorandum to all the bureau, shall any person who works in the same bureau I do communicate with me, neither verbally on the phone, by email.

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