Chinese cities and US states sign climate declaration

17th September 2015

US cities and states, and Chinese cities have signed a declaration on climate change to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

The agreement, signed in California this week, follows the accord on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions reached in Beijing last November between presidents Xi Jinping and Obama, with the US promising to cut emissions by 28% by 2025 and China agreeing to cap them by 2030.

Atlanta, Houston, New York, Washington DC and several other major US cities and metropolitan regions have now agreed to new emissions reduction targets, with California state pledging an 80% cut by 2050. Los Angeles, meanwhile, has signed a separate memorandum of understanding with the cities of Shenzhen and Guangdong to share best practice in reducing emissions, particularly from transport and buildings. The mayor of Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, said; "Cities are the primary source of all greenhouse-gas emissions and are on the frontlines of battling the extreme weather caused by climate change,"

For its part, China has established an Alliance of peaking pioneer cities (APPC). All 11 cities and provinces in the APPC, including Beijing, have agreed to cap their carbon dioxide emissions before China's national target in 2030. The combined annual emissions of the 11 cities are equal to those of Brazil or Japan, according to White House officials. Two of China's most polluting provinces, Jiangsu and Hebei, which regularly exceed China's own emissions limits, are not included in the declaration, however.

"Last year was a year for setting goals and targets," said Brian Deese, a senior White House climate change adviser. "This year, having made those commitments, needs to be a year of implementation, as our two countries demonstrate commitment to implement those goals with concrete steps," he added.

President Xi Jinping will visit the US next week, where he and president Obama will announce further bi-lateral plans on greenhouse gas reductions, ahead of the climate change talks in Paris at the end of the year.


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