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What the U.S. And China Announced Last Night

What the U.S. And China Announced Last Night:

Last night, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly announced crucial new actions to protect our climate. And because of American leadership, China is making critical new commitments.

Building on the progress we've already made, the U.S. will set a new target of cutting our net greenhouse gas emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. And President Xi announced new plans to increase the share of renewable energy and nuclear power that China uses to roughly 20% by 2030 -- up from only 8% in 2009 -- and, for the first time, set a target for when China will max out its carbon emissions.

The U.S. and China together account for more than a third of global greenhouse gas emissions -- so together, we have an especially important role to play in fighting climate change.

Back in 2009 when President Obama took office, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were projected to continue increasing indefinitely, at a rate of about 1.2% each year. But the President set an ambitious goal that November to cut emissions "in the range of 17% below 2005 levels" by 2020.

We’re on track to achieve that goal. Since taking office, President Obama has:

• Put in place appliance efficiency standards that will save American consumers more than $450 billion on their utility bills through 2030

• Established standards that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks, nearly doubling the fuel efficiency of our vehicles and saving consumers $1.7 trillion at the pump over the lifetime of the program

• Released the first-ever proposal for carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants

• Increased electricity generation from solar more than ten-fold, and tripled electricity production from wind power

• Invested more than $80 billion in clean energy technologies

And the new emission reduction target that the President announced last night will roughly double the pace of our carbon pollution reduction -- from 1.2% per year from 2005 to 2020, to 2.3-2.8% from 2020 to 2025.

This target keeps us on track to reduce our carbon pollution on the order of 80% by 2050, and means the U.S. is doing our part to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius.


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