The first step is admitting that you have a problem.
November 11, 2014 9:23 PM Subscribe
The US and China just reached a major climate deal on cutting emissions.
On its own, this deal won't solve climate change — and it's arguably not close to ambitious enough. But it is a break from the long-standing stalemate between the two countries on the topic. And this agreement could help nudge along the upcoming UN climate talks that are supposed to culminate in an international deal on emissions at Paris in 2015.
The US pledge: As part of the bargain, the US government has pledged to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 — an extension of its existing goal to reduce emissions 17 percent by 2020.
The China pledge: Meanwhile, China has made a few pledges of its own. Xi said that China would set a goal of having emissions stop growing by around 2030 and possibly peak earlier. China would also try to get one-fifth of its energy from non-fossil sources by then. (China isn't cutting its emissions nearly as drastically as the US — the logic is that this is fair since China is bigger and poorer.)
Is this deal enough to solve climate change? Definitely not. [...] For the time being, however, this is a big shift in climate politics — and possibly a first step toward a broader global climate agreement.
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