Published: Mon, November 07, 2016
Research | By Jennifer Evans

China pledges 18-percent carbon emissions cut by 2020

China pledges 18-percent carbon emissions cut by 2020

The pact undertakes to limit global warming to "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, and to strive for 1.5 C.

Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UNEP, said in a new release that while the Paris Agreement and the recent Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are steps in the right direction, the strong commitments are nevertheless still not enough.

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter Friday to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the taking effect of Paris Agreement on climate change.

The 2°C scenario is a little less extreme, but also necessitates net negative greenhouse gas emissions before 2100.

Zhou was positive about China fulfilling its self-identified goals, expecting that the country is likely to hit peak emissions by the end of 2025, five years ahead of schedule. Rich counties will also have to help poorer nations by providing "climate finance" to help them switch to renewable energy.

The Paris accord passed a threshold on October 5 of 55 nations accounting for more than 55 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, allowing it to come into force 30 days later.

"China is expected to make more contributions in the future after economic growth shows a decoupling trend with coal usage", said Zou.

Adopted unanimously by 195 countries at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, the agreement aims to strengthen the worldwide response to the threat of climate change. That pushed the accord past the required threshold.

"The speed at which countries have made the Paris's Agreement's entry into force possible is unprecedented in recent experience of worldwide agreements and is a powerful confirmation of the importance nations attach to combating climate change and realizing the multitude of opportunities inherent in the Paris Agreement".

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), a surrogate for Trump, said recently that the Paris pact puts US interests secondary to those of other nations. The climate change agreement would come into force on November 4th.

And new research claims America's current emissions reduction plan falls short of its Paris pledge. CCTV America's Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

The impacts of climate change are already being felt in California and will disproportionately impact the state's most vulnerable populations.

Political scientist Michele Betsill said a lot has been done by governments and businesses to meet the goals and spirit of the accord.

The only realistic way to achieve the emission cuts needed in the time frames necessary would be through a global, 100% revenue neutral carbon tax that would, particularly in the developed world, reinvest the money it takes from ordinary citizens back into the economy through equivalent tax cuts or grants.

"We must maintain this extraordinary momentum by encouraging countries to continue ratifying the deal, and by moving full steam ahead with our preparations to put it into action across the world", Europe's climate commissioner Miguel Canete said in a statement.

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