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

Plumbing Progress

An innovative Australian project recycles discarded ocean plastic into 3-D printer filament, which is then used to make replacement plumbing parts in needy areas of the world.

Urban Trees

Tree cover works to reduce depression, improve productivity and lessen disease, yet four million city trees a year are being lost due to their low priority in municipal budgets.

Tree Tally

By digitalizing photographs and other museum records, scientists are closing in on the number of tree species left to be discovered in the Amazon rainforest.

Tiny Baubles

As many as 51 trillion particles of discarded plastic lie on the ocean floor, threatening marine life globally.

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.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags