US, China reach landmark deal on climate change

US, China reach landmark deal on climate change

The world’s top carbon emitters, the US and China, on Wednesday reached a groundbreaking deal on climate change, which calls for ambitious action to limit greenhouse gases. The pact may lead to India de-linking itself from China at future global climate negotiations.

In a major breakthrough, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama announced respective post-2020 goals of coping with climate change after a comprehensive round of talks here.

Under the agreement, the US intends to achieve an economy-wide target of reducing its emissions by 26-28 per cent below its 2005 level in 2025, and to make best efforts to reduce its emissions by 28 per cent, said a joint statement issued at the end of the talks here.

For its part, China intends to achieve the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions around 2030, make best efforts to peak early and increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 per cent by 2030, it said.

This is the first time China has agreed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions, said US officials. The surprise agreement between the top two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases came amid a debate in Indian official circles about the need for India to de-hyphenate itself from its long association with China on climate issues.

According to a 2012 survey, the biggest contributors to fossil fuel emissions included China (27 per cent), the US (14 per cent), the European Union (10 per cent), and India (6 per cent).

New Railway Minister  Suresh Prabhu has called for India and China to go their own ways on climate issues as India’s near-complete alignment with China at global climate talks has been hurting New Delhi’s interests.

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