US and China announce 'historic' climate accord

  • Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing
  • Updated: Nov 12, 2014 20:42 IST

China and the United States, the world’s two largest carbon polluters, on Wednesday announced ambitious plans to cut down on greenhouse gas emission over the next two decades.

The landmark agreement, signed between President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Wednesday, says that the US will cut down emissions by about 28 percent below 2005-levels by 2025.

China has pledged to achieve the “peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030.”

It is for the first time that China has pledged to cut carbon emissions.

Both countries have also decided to jointly “push international climate change negotiations for the adoption of a protocol at the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris next year.”

President Xi Jinping on Wednesday held talks with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama, underscoring commitment to building a new type of major-country relations between the world's two largest economies.

The two countries also signed several other agreements on easing travel visas, military cooperation and removing trade tariffs.

Xi, according to official news agency Xinhua, said the two leaders should maintain regular and close communications and exchange candid and in—depth views on fundamental issues.

“Only in this way (could the two countries) comprehensively enhance mutual understanding, trust and respect and steer clear of strategic misjudgments,” Xi said.

The two leaders later held a joint press conference at the Great Hall of the People where they took two questions.

Obama reiterated the US’s one China policy, saying that Washington does not support the independence of Taiwan and Tibetr.

Obama said He said he is willing to exchange views with President Xi on a wide range of issues in a timely manner and lift the new type of major—country relationship between China and the US to a higher level.

Obama told Xi that the U.S. has no intention of containing China because doing that is not in its own interests.

The US President arrived in Beijing Monday to attend the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economic leaders' meeting and pay a state visit to China at Xi's invitation.

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