History was made this week as the United States and China jointly pledged to curb carbon emissions over the next two decades in order to move forward in addressing the global climate crisis.
The deal followed the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing, where the two countries hoped to “inject momentum” into creating a new global pact on emissions in Paris next year.
The U.S. and China are the world’s two largest economies, two largest consumers of energy, and two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, and together they hope to set an example for other countries of the world to follow.
“We hope to encourage all major economies to be ambitious – all countries, developing and developed – to work across some of the old divides, so we can conclude a strong global climate agreement next year,” President Barack Obama said in a joint press conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
According to the agreement, the U.S. will cut its carbon emissions between 26-28% by 2025. Meanwhile, China will peak its carbon emissions no later than 2030 and also said it will increase the use of non-fossil fuels to 20% by 2030.
This is the first time that China has agreed to cut its carbon emissions.
“This is a major milestone in the U.S.-China relationship, and it shows what’s possible when we work together on an urgent global challenge,” said Obama.
In addition to climate talks, the two countries also reached common ground in areas of bettering trade relations, cybersecurity, and the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.