would lower its GHG emission rates by 26-28% from the levels emitted in 2005, by 2025. (The U. S. has already pledged to reduce emissions by 17% from the levels of 2005 by 2020.) This requires an increasing the intended annual rate of reduction of GHG emissions from 1.2% per year up to 2020 to 2.3-2.8% per year between 2020 and 2025. U. S.
- China’s emission rates, which continue
growing because it is adding new fossil fuel-driven electric generating
plants to power its expanding economy, will reach a maximum annual rate by
2030 and possibly sooner.
’s commitment to slow the growth of its emissions was not specified in numerical terms. As part of this initiative China expects to increase the share of energy derived from renewable sources (solar power, wind, nuclear and hydroelectric) to 20% by the target date of 2030. China
- The two nations agreed to extend and expand their cooperation in reducing emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, used in refrigeration, originally announced in 2013. These substances are far more potent GHGs than CO2.
- The commitments pledge major reductions in GHG emission rates by each of the two nations.
- The agreement was reached outside the framework of the worldwide United Nations sponsored negotiations for a universal treaty. Those negotiations, occurring annually for many years, have been fraught with contention and disagreements.
- The commitments made by the two largest emitters of GHGs in the world to reduce emission rates should serve as a powerful incentive for other nations to reduce their emissions, whether individually or within the U. N. framework, to reach a meaningful agreement.
© 2014 Henry Auer