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China, US announce ambitious climate change goals

Updated: Nov 12,2014 9:13 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The world’s two biggest economies on Nov 12 announced ambitious goals and pledged joint efforts to tackle climate change in the next 15 years.

China and the United States announced their respective post-2020 goals of coping with climate change in a joint announcement issued after the two countries’ presidents held talks on Nov 12 in Beijing.

The United States intends to achieve “an economy-wide target of reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent below its 2005 level in 2025” and to make best efforts to reduce its emissions by 28 percent, according to the announcement.

China intends to achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030.

“China and the United States hope that by announcing these targets now, they can inject momentum into the global climate negotiations and inspire other countries to join in coming forward with ambitious actions as soon as possible, preferably by the first quarter of 2015,” the announcement said.

The two countries will jointly push international climate change negotiations for the adoption of a protocol at the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris next year, according to the announcement.

China and the US will step up cooperation in the fields of clean energy and environmental protection, the announcement said.

To achieve their climate goals, China and the US will establish a major new carbon storage project based in China through an international public-private consortium led by the two countries to study and monitor carbon storage using industrial CO2, it said.

The two countries will also work together on a new Enhanced Water Recovery project to produce fresh water from CO2 injection into deep saline aquifers.

In addition, China and the US will convene a Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities Summit where leading cities from both countries will share best practices, set new goals and celebrate city-level leadership in reducing carbon emissions and building resilience.

Bilateral trade in sustainable environmental goods and clean energy technologies will be encouraged, according to the announcement.

It said a US trade mission led by US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will visit China in April 2015, with a focus on smart low-carbon cities and smart low-carbon growth technologies.

China was the first among developing countries to formulate and implement a national climate change program and adopted a national plan to make sure that it will meet the target of cutting carbon intensity by 40 percent to 45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level.

In 2013, carbon intensity in China was down by 28.5 percent from the 2005 level, which was equivalent to a reduction of 2.5 billion tons of CO2 emissions.

President Xi Jinping on Nov 12 held talks with his US counterpart Barack Obama, underscoring commitment to building a new type of major-country relations between the world’s two largest economies.

Obama arrived in Beijing on Nov 10 to attend the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting and pay a state visit to China at Xi’s invitation.