Written by by Nathaniel Popper, CNN
The world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases will seek to cut their emissions by up to 50% by 2030 at an unprecedented climate summit in Paris next month.
The leaders of China and the US — countries with the world’s most forests, cities and coal reserves — will team up at the March 29 event to pledge a 30% reduction in global emissions, according to a joint statement issued by the French Foreign Ministry and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
The agreement comes after US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Paris Agreement last year.
China and the US, respectively responsible for 26% and 17% of the world’s emissions, committed to cut their emissions by at least 26% to 28% by 2025 during last year’s COP21 Climate Change Conference, which seeks to reduce global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) — a far cry from the more ambitious goals of the Paris agreement.
Caitlin Thwaites reports from the French Embassy in Washington, DC on how the US is adapting to the impacts of climate change. Credit: Jacob Nelson/Michael Vadon/Sipa USA/AP
“In Paris at COP21, the States and China pledged to bring climate change back to the top of the global political agenda,” according to the statement. “Climate change is one of the most important challenges to our world, and leaders agreed that addressing it was of the greatest long-term and existential significance for humankind.”
In a joint statement, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Chancellor Shinzo Abe of Japan will announce an agreement to cut their own emissions by up to 40% by 2030. Further, France and Canada will cut their emissions by between 30% and 40% by 2030, according to the French foreign ministry.
‘Not the end’
The announcement was made at the G20 leaders’ summit in Buenos Aires on Thursday.
China’s annual smog in Beijing, city walled by towering mountains, has earned it the nickname “Siberian Disneyland.” The mountain reserve is home to the Snowy Mountains complex of forests, but a recent earthquake in the area has threatened the trees’ survival.
A long table at the Utah State Fair featured a collection of parrots and a California condor. Credit: Joshua Yehl-Pool/Getty Images
The summit will also include 20 other countries or regions or regions joining the ‘Clean Energy Ministerial’ — an initiative meant to unite government and business commitments, according to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
“This unprecedented, worldwide agreement is an important step forward on the road toward zero-emissions energy systems, but this isn’t the end of the road. We have more work to do,” said Le Drian.
“It’s crucial that we create momentum, that we fight for and finance the transformation and that we don’t allow the precious climate capabilities we have to be squandered,” he added.
Trump welcomed back to Paris
Earlier this week, the Trump administration unveiled plans to withdraw the US from the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which was struck upon by 195 nations in 2015.
In the decision, Trump repeated his previous belief that climate change is a hoax, adding that the deal would jeopardize jobs in the US coal and oil industries.
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