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US and China will tackle climate change together under new pact

Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
November 12, 2014
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Climate change is still real, still happening and still terrifying, but thankfully it looks as if the US and China are listening to the UN's advice. The pair has announced a historic pact that sees both nations agreeing to begin reducing their carbon emissions by 2030 at the very latest. The US is going further, pledging to reduce its emissions by up to 28 percent of 2005 levels - which would bring annual emissions down from six billion tonnes per year to just over four. China, on the other hand, is promising to "peak" its emissions by 2030 or earlier, meaning that the number will start to fall after that point. The downside of that, of course, is that China could be pumping up to 12 billion tonnes of CO2 before it starts to make a dent.

There is cause for some cheer in all of that gloom, since China has also agreed to move 20 percent of its energy production capacity to renewable resources by that same deadline. It may not sound like much, but the task requires creating 1,000 gigawatts of new nuclear, wind, solar, (fusion?) and clean coal stations which will generate almost the same amount as all the energy generated in the US in 2014. Both nations have also pointed out that renewable energy investment will help drive innovation, boost the two economies and improve energy security. The pair also hope that the move will inspire other countries to clean their own houses before the UN's big climate change conference in Paris. After all, if it's good enough for the Rockefellers...

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