Saturday

13th Aug 2022

US and China agree climate deal

  • President Obama - the climate deal has been nine months in the making (Photo: The Council of the European Union)

The US and China on Wednesday (12 November) announced an unexpected climate deal in a move that may ease European industry fears that the EU's climate goals are risking its competitive edge.

At a joint press conference in Beijing, president Barack Obama and president Xi Jinping announced what their countries, the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, would do to limit climate change.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The US “intends” to lower its emissions of greenhouse gases by between 26 to 28 percent in 2025, compared to its 2005 level. It will “make best efforts to reduce its emissions by 28%”, according to a White House statement.

China has not set a reduction target, but it “intends to achieve the peaking of CO2 emissions around 2030 and to make best efforts to peak early”. It also hopes to achieve a 20 percent share of “non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption” by 2030.

The deal is important for Europe as it raises the hope that an international agreement with binding reduction targets can be reached in Paris in 2015.

EU government leaders decided in October on a plan for greenhouse gas reduction after 2020.

Europe-based companies fear they will be put at a disadvantage if other regions do not follow suit.

“Any rule we adopt in the EU will have consequences if it is not also adopted by other countries like the US”, Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of French oil company Total, said last week in Brussels.

The US-China deal, which came less than a month after the EU announced its post-2020 targets, was about nine months in the making.

The two countries “hope that by announcing these targets now, they can inject momentum into the global climate negotiations”. Next month, negotiators will gather in Lima, as a preparation for the Paris 2015 summit.

The key question is how the pledges will be translated into action.

Since last week, the Republican party have a majority in both houses of the US Congress, with many Republicans opposing strong measures to reduce greenhouse gases.

Opinion

Only Western unity can stop Iran hostage-diplomacy

The Belgian parliament's recent decision to ratify its prisoner-exchange treaty with Iran is a grave mistake, and one which exemplifies the many downfalls of dealing with Iran's human-rights abuses on a case-by-case basis.

News in Brief

  1. Germany to help nationals cope with energy price spike
  2. Germany wants pipeline from Portugal
  3. Ukraine urges US to sanction all Russian banks
  4. Spain evacuates 294 Afghans
  5. EU sanctions have 'limited' effect of Russian oil production
  6. Donors pledge €1.5bn to Ukraine's war effort
  7. Sweden overtakes France as EU's top power exporter
  8. Italy's far-right star in European charm offensive

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts 2022 season
  2. Sweden to extradite man wanted by Turkey
  3. EU must beware Beijing's new charm offensive
  4. Forest fire near Bordeaux forces over 10,000 to flee
  5. Estonia and Latvia sever China club ties
  6. Russian coal embargo kicks in, as EU energy bills surge
  7. Only Western unity can stop Iran hostage-diplomacy
  8. Kosovo PM warns of renewed conflict with Serbia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us