US, China Strike Historic Agreement On Climate Change

World | November 12, 2014, Wednesday // 14:13|  views


US President Barrack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping reached a historic agreement on the reduction of their greenhouse gas emissions, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held in Beijing on November 10-12.

The US pledged to reduce its levels with 26-28% by 2025, compared to 2005. China did not specify a concrete target, but for the first time it promised to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 or earlier, with fossil fuels falling to 80 % of Chinese energy use by then.

The two countries also reached military, trade and visa agreements, which is a sign for the improving relations and their new model of cooperation.

The military agreements concern the notification between the two sides on major activities, such as military excersises, and the reduction of military accidents in the air and at sea.

Before the summit, the two countries stroke a deal to issue 10-year tourist and business visas, and to drop tariffs on semiconductors and other IT products.

The relation between the two countries has been strained in the last years, as the US is trying to consolidate its presence in Asia, while China is pursuing its goal of becoming the region's hegemon.

Instances of their rivalry in the past year include cyberspying attacks, the pro-democracy demonstrations in Chinese Hong Kong, and China's territorial disputes with Japan and the Philippines, as well as its maritime claims across the South China and East China seas.

This thaw fits the foreign policy of Obama who is eager to strengthen US influence in Asia, as well as that of Xi Jinping, who is seeking a new type of major-power relationship with the US – that between equals.

The climate change agreement comes ahead of the international negotiations on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions after 2020 that start in Paris next year.

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Tags: climate change, US, Obama, China, agreement, greenhouse gas emissions


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