US – China Announce Steps on Climate Change

  • On 25th September, 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President announced significant steps in their efforts to battle climate change.
  • China pledged to start a national cap-and trade plan by 2017 to cap emissions, but will allow companies to trade pollution credits and to contribute $3.1 billion to help poorer countries finance their own transition programs.
  • The United States said it would finalize standards to boost efficiency for appliances and reduce methane emissions from landfill in addition to limiting emissions from its power plants.
  • The announcement was a culmination of several months of discussion between the officials of both the countries to build momentum ahead of United Nations climate-change negotiations in Paris to be held in December this year.

Background

  • Last year in November, during President Obama’s visit to China, US and China reached a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The two countries are the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters. Friday’s announcement was a step in that direction.
  • The cap-and –trade system was piloted in 2013 in seven major cities and provinces in China. They work by capping carbon dioxide emissions and then having companies buy and sell permits that allow them to emit set levels of carbon under the cap.
  • China’s contribution pledge follows the Obama administration’s pledge last year of $3 billion for the international Green Climate Fund over several years.

News Item compiled by Atishya Kumar

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