New US-China climate deal fuels hopes of bolder international agreements

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The world’s two largest emitters of dangerous carbon pollution are committing to reduce their emissions and work more closely to fight climate change. On Tuesday, representatives from the United States and China signed eight partnership pacts to cut greenhouse gas emissions by sharing technological knowledge, encouraging pro-business solutions and continuing close dialogue on achieving international carbon reductions by 2015. While significant differences between the two nations still need to be ironed out, any effort to build close consensus between the US and China on climate is critical for achieving a global climate pact. Speaking in China on Tuesday US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “The significance of these two nations coming together can’t be understated. We are working hard to find a solution together that can have an impact on the rest of the world.” This announcement comes as the two countries are giving more attention to the threats posed by climate change. Last month, the US unveiled targets for cutting carbon pollution from existing power plants, which was immediately followed by hints that China might institute a carbon cap. Since then, China has completed the roll out of its eight pilot carbon markets. These markets are expected to set the stage for a national carbon trading scheme.

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MT @JohnKerry: When US & #China work w/ each other, we stand to gain a great deal. This week’s talks build on dialogue over last 5 yrs.

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  • “The significance of these two nations coming together can’t be understated. We are working hard to find a solution together that can have an impact on the rest of the world.” – John Kerry, US Secretary of State
  • “Developing countries are most concerned that they get funds and technological support from developed countries On this issue, we are still having great difficulties and we have to put forth more effort.” – Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)
  • “Overall I think they were a quite constructive set of conversations the last couple of days, and with a number of deliverables attached. Mostly this is—from my point of view, this is part of an ongoing process, which is a very intensive one with China.” – Todd Stern, US Special Envoy for Climate Change

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