Ambitious near-term pollution reductions show promise for international progress on climate change
WASHINGTON (November 11, 2014) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping tonight announced significant near-term pollution cuts that will help the two largest emitters in the world chart a path to the deep reductions needed by mid-century to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. The targets will keep the U.S. on the trajectory to achieve 80 percent carbon emissions reductions by 2050 in keeping with the Waxman-Markey climate change bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009.
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the co-author of the Waxman-Markey climate bill that passed the House in 2009 and guided the U.S. 2020 climate goals at the Copenhagen negotiations in 2009 and had similar targets to those announced today between the United States and China, released the following statement:
“These are big commitments from the biggest emitters, and could end up being the agreement that protects people and the planet from the worst impacts of global warming.
“When the top two countries that represent more than a third of all warming emissions on the planet make this kind of pact, it provides leadership that ripples across the world. Other countries will now stand up and take notice and approach the coming international climate negotiations with a newfound optimism that progress can be achieved.
“The United States and China are technological and manufacturing giants, so what they decide to develop and deploy will be what the world buys and builds. The clean energy commitments that are necessary to meet these goals will drive a new generation of pollution-cutting job creation here in America and forge new partnerships between economic superpowers that will benefit our people and our planet.
“President Obama's persistence in the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009 led to China and other rapidly developing countries making international climate commitments for the first time. He has proven yet again that he can rise to the occasion on the world stage and achieve huge benefits for our economy and our environment.”
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