Why New U.S.-China Climate Steps Matter: Three Things to Know
The world’s two largest polluters cap a mammoth week for climate change with a joint statement. Are they really doing anything new?
New U.S.-China efforts to rein in global warming, including China’s launch of a national cap-and-trade plan, hardly come as a surprise but signal leadership two months ahead of historic climate talks.
In a joint statement issued Friday at the White House, Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping announced initiatives that build on the climate deal reached last year between the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases.
The United States said it would, in addition to limiting emissions from its power plants, finalize standards to boost efficiency for appliances and reduce methane emissions from landfills. China pledged $3.1 billion—similar to a prior U.S. amount—to help developing countries combat climate change.
China committed to launch in 2017 a national emission trading program