Washington, D.C. — President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China announced significant climate policy commitments today aimed at laying a new groundwork for crucial climate talks in Paris this December. The announcement—which includes multiple new domestic policy commitments from China—represents a major step forward in the U.S.-China climate relationship and in China’s willingness to shoulder more responsibility in the global effort to combat climate change. The Center for American Progress has released a column today analyzing the announcement.
“This announcement represents significant buy-in from the two most powerful nations on the planet to get serious about not only setting targets but also moving forward on climate change mitigation policies,” said Melanie Hart, CAP’s Director of China Policy. “China’s new commitment to prioritize clean energy on its power grids will create a new fast-lane for wind, solar, and other renewable sources and accelerate the nation’s downshift on coal.”
“China has taken an important step forward by committing to deliver $3.1 billion in climate assistance, which will bolster the investments that the United States is making—and needs to make more of—to help countries to achieve clean, sustainable economic growth and enhance their resilience to climate impacts,” said Pete Ogden, CAP Senior Fellow.
Today’s announcement includes a combination of recommitments to existing policy initiatives in both nations, as well as entirely new measures, particularly from China. China’s new commitments include its its first substantial commitment of $3.1 billion to help poorer countries build cleaner, lower-carbon economies; a fast-track dispatch system for green power; and a nationwide cap-and-trade program that will encompass at least six key high-emitting sectors by 2017. The two nations agreed to shared principles on finance for sustainable development projects—a hot button issue as China creates the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank—and issued a new shared vision for the Paris climate conference this December.
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at gro.ssergorpnacirema@azzaiact or 202.481.7141.