The two largest greenhouse gas emitters in the world have revealed how they plan to lower their output.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled multifaceted plans on Friday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. According to the environmentalism advocate Rocky Mountain Institute, Xi’s agreements included:
Obama’s agreements included:
Both countries also agreed to higher fuel efficiency standards for their respective trucking industries, according to the institute.
The agreements represent the action plan to implement goals the U.S. and China set last year, and are ambitious goals — according to a statement from the White House, achieving the level of reductions agreed upon would mean doubling the rate of progress the country is making in limiting greenhouse gases.
It also represents the first time China has promised on an international stage to cut its emissions, according to the statement. According to the World Resources Institute, China emits more greenhouse gases than any other country — so much so that its emissions equal about as much as the U.S. and European Union put together.
However, it’s an issue of volume, not intensity. China is the most populous country on Earth with more than 1.36 billion residents, according to the World Bank, but its per capita emissions are less than half that of the U.S.
The China-U.S. agreements come amid a flurry of international activity on climate change. A U.N. meeting promises to establish international “Sustainable Development Goals,” including taking “urgent” action on climate change, and to preempt the meeting several mayors and governors met in New York on Thursday to sign an agreement to cut greenhouse gases. The same day, Pope Francis visited the U.S. Congress and urged the body to be a leader in environmental stewardship. In December, world leaders will meet in Paris for the 21st Conference of Parties to establish environmental partnerships.
In addition to the gas-reducing agreements Obama and Xi put forward on Friday, the two also pledged to spend $6 billion on sustainable growth in the developing world.
“The commitments by the countries are sweeping and perhaps the greatest cause for hope yet in international attempts to address global warming,” a blog post on the Rocky Mountain Institute website reads.