Potent Promises

Climate Change Pledges Predict Progress




President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have both made ambitious pledges to combat climate change. Jinping pledged that China’s CO2 emissions would peak around 2030; the first time that Beijing has set such a target. Obama promised that by 2025, the U.S. will have reduced its emissions by 23 to 26 percent from 2005 levels, twice as much as Washington had previously offered.

The carbon emission deal that has been reached between China and the United States is a promising breakthrough. The world’s biggest economies account for one-third of the planet’s emissions, so their initiative should help persuade other countries to reach a global emissions agreement at a United Nations climate summit next year in Paris.

President Obama faces opposition in the Republican-controlled Congress, although aides say he can act unilaterally. Moreover, rapidly evolving energy conditions in the United States, from the increased supply of natural gas to the expansion of renewable energies, will ease the pain of carbon cuts.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Landfill Eulogy

Sweden’s waste-to-energy plants are so efficient that it has closed many landfills and actually imports trash to burn from other European countries.

Humpback Holler

Humpback whales that leap out of the water are making a big splash to communicate with distant pods, Australian researchers have found.

Window Pain

As many as one billion migrating birds die annually when they collide with glass windows in the United States.

Migrating Trees

Three-quarters of American tree species have shifted to the West since 1980 due to dryer conditions in the East and changing rainfall patterns.

Plutonium Problem

To safely dispose of 56 million gallons of nuclear waste dating back to the Second World War, the Department of Energy might replace a glass-log encasement plan with a cement option.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags