U.S., China reach climate agreement

China and the United States have announced an agreement to cooperate on battling global climate change. As part of the deal, China has pledged $3.1 Billion to help poorer nations also take measures to reduce damage to the environment, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal last week. The article noted this was a significant step for the Chinese as other developed nations have borne the cost so far.

The announcement came after Chinese leaders met with President Obama to talk about climate change measures. The United States has already pledged $3 Billion to help poorer nations take positive steps. Those monies will be given out over the next several years as developing nations find ways to cut harmful emissions.

“The significant and new climate finance pledges made by China are a game changer in international climate politics,” said Li Shuo, a senior climate policy analyst with Greenpeace East Asia said. “It is a drastic increase from China’s previous finance commitments.”

Both countries pledged to continue to reduce their own harmful CO2 emissions that are believed to be responsible for global warming.

Also as part of the agreement, China will extend a cap and trade system it started in 2013. Under this plan companies buy and sell permits that allow them to emit a certain level of carbon under an overall cap. The Chinese said they would implement these programs in the nation’s largest cities by 2017.

The United States is committed to reducing its CO2 emissions 26-28 percent by 2025, down from the 2005 level. China plans to educe its missions by 65 percent by 2030.

Both nation’s leaders hope the agreement will carry over some momentum into United Nations talks to be held in Paris at the end of this year. Those talks are to focus on climate change and what can be done to slow the effects.

Another story, in the Guardian, noted that China passed the United States as the world’s No. 1 polluter in 2006. The article also noted that in 2006 China began a program to start addressing climate change. There are many people living on the coast in China, and they are seeing sea levels rise.

The agreement also calls for China to be more transparent about its pollution statistics. Both the U.S. and China have also set targets for emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, appliance standards and building energy efficiency.

U.S., China reach climate agreement

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