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China, US set global example on climate change
(2015-09-24)How China and the US can team up to address climate-change challenges is expected to be one of the main agenda items on President Xi Jinping's state visit this week.
"Two big leaders for the first time in history have come to the table. But more importantly, what the countries have to continue to show the others and the whole world, is that they are actually doing something at home to reduce emissions," Jake Schmidt, international program director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a press briefing on Tuesday titled Climate Pledges, Roles of Cities on the Road to Paris.

At the November 2014 summit between Xi and US President Barack Obama, the US pledged to cut emissions by up to 28 percent by 2025, while China agreed that its emissions would peak around 2030, and promised to get one-fifth of its power from non-fossil-fuel energy sources by the same year.

"The most important thing that we can do is to meet the target that has been planned," Schmidt said. "One of the pieces that is important is how we can create the momentum to step up the efforts over time.

"The reality is that for the proposed target in five years, China has overachieved on those targets," he said. "That would give China a strong position to want to show that to the world."

Xi's visit to the US comes after an agreement was signed on Sept 17 at the first US-China Low Carbon Cities Summit in Los Angeles, which commits 11 major Chinese cities and several major US cities to reducing carbon emissions.

"Nearly 54 percent of the population on the planet is in cities. And collectively, the cities account for more than 70 percent of global gas emissions and two thirds of the whole world's energy use," said Shelly Poticha, urban solutions program director at the NRDC. "The US has put forward the clean-energy plan which sends an important signal to China that the cooperation is for real; the US is really trying to do something," Schmidt said.

Schmidt is optimistic about the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Paris from Nov 30-Dec 11.

"As we look at what we have come to agree on in Copenhagen, there is a big shift of that dynamic. One-hundred sixty countries have some form of renewable policy that mandates some sort of clean energy," Schmidt said.

"What they are finding is despite the rhetoric, the actions of the policies don't destroy their economies and drive them to the Stone Age, but in fact create multiple benefits in terms of jobs and reducing poverty and so forth," he said.

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2015-09/24/content_21971050.htm
Source:China Daily
Date:Sep 25,2015