U.S. and China Reach Historic Climate Change Agreement, Vow To Cut Emissions

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BEIJING, Nov 12 – In a historic climate change deal, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced both countries will curb their greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades. Under the agreement, the United States would cut its 2005 level of carbon emissions by 26-28% before the year 2025. China would peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and will also aim to get 20% of its energy from zero-carbon emission sources by the same year.

“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. The announcement marks the first time China has agreed to peak its carbon emissions, according to the White House. Xi is calling for “an energy revolution” that would include broad economic reforms addressing air pollution.

Obama, who was in Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, said he hopes the deal 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. Xi said both sides were committed to working toward the goals before the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris next year.

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