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US and China jointly announce GHG reduction targets; US to cut net GHG 26-28% by 2025, China to peak CO2 by ~2030

The US and China jointly announced greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets. US President Barack Obama said the US will cut net greenhouse gas emissions in the US by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. At the same time, President Xi Jinping of China announced targets to peak that country’s CO2 emissions around 2030, with the intention to try to peak early, and to increase the non-fossil fuel share of all energy to around 20% by 2030. Together, the US and China account for more than one third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The new US goal will double the pace of GHG reduction from 1.2% per year on average during the 2005-2020 period to 2.3-2.8% per year on average between 2020 and 2025. The Administration said that the ambitious target is grounded in analysis of cost-effective carbon pollution reductions achievable under existing law and will keep the United States on a trajectory to achieve deep economy-wide reductions on the order of 80% by 2050.

The Administration said the United States will submit its 2025 target to the Framework Convention on Climate Change as an “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution” no later than the first quarter of 2015.

The joint announcement, which the White House said was the culmination of months of bilateral dialogue, marks the first time China has agreed to peak its CO2 emissions. The Administration expects that China will succeed in peaking its emissions before 2030 based on its broad economic reform program, plans to address air pollution, and implementation of President Xi’s call for an energy revolution.

China’s target to expand total energy consumption coming from zero-emission sources to around 20% by 2030 is “notable”, the White House said. It will require China to deploy an additional 800-1,000 gigawatts of nuclear, wind, solar and other zero emission generation capacity by 2030—more than all the coal-fired power plants that exist in China today and close to total current electricity generation capacity in the United States.

To further support the achievement of the goals announced today, the United States and China pledged to strengthen cooperation on climate and clean energy. The two countries are expanding their ongoing cooperation through policy dialogue and technical work on clean energy and low greenhouse gas emissions technologies.

Among the agreements are to:

Expand Joint Clean Energy Research and Development: A renewed and expanded commitment to the US-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC). This will include:

  • Extending the CERC mandate for an additional five years from 2016-2020;

  • renewing funding for the three existing tracks: building efficiency, clean vehicles, and advanced coal technologies with carbon capture, use and sequestration (CCUS); and

  • launching a new track on the interaction of energy and water (the energy/water ‘nexus’).

Advance Major Carbon Capture, Use and Storage Demonstrations: The United States and China will undertake a major carbon capture and storage project in China that supports a long term, detailed assessment of full-scale sequestration in a suitable, secure underground geologic reservoir. The United States and China will make equal funding commitments to the project and will seek additional funding commitments from other countries and the private sector.

In addition, both sides will work to manage climate change by demonstrating a new frontier for CO2 use through a carbon capture, use, and sequestration (CCUS) project that will capture and store CO2 while producing fresh water, thus demonstrating power generation as a net producer of water instead of a water consumer.

This CCUS project with Enhanced Water Recovery will eventually inject about 1 million tons of CO2 and create approximately 1.4 million cubic meters of freshwater per year.

Enhance Cooperation on Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs): Building on the Sunnylands agreement between President Xi and President Obama regarding HFCs, the United States and China will enhance bilateral cooperation to begin phasing down the use of high global warming potential HFCs, including through technical cooperation on domestic measures to promote HFC alternatives and to transition government procurement toward climate-friendly refrigerants.

Launch a Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities Initiative: Urbanization is a major trend in the 21st century, and cities worldwide account for a significant percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In response, the United States and China are establishing a new initiative on Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities under the US-China Climate Change Working Group. Under the initiative, the two countries will share city-level experiences with planning, policies, and use of technologies for sustainable, resilient, low-carbon growth. This initiative will eventually include demonstrations of new technologies for smart infrastructure for urbanization. As a first step, the United States and China will convene a Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities “Summit” where leading cities from both countries will share best practices, set new goals, and celebrate city-level leadership.

Promote Trade in Green Goods: The United States announced that Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will lead a Smart Cities/Smart Growth Business Development Mission to China 12-17 April 2015, focused on green infrastructure, energy efficiency and environmental trade sectors. The mission will highlight the benefits of sustainable urbanization, technologies to support China’s air pollution and climate goals, and green buildings opportunities. In addition, USTDA will conduct three reverse trade missions to bring Chinese delegations to see environmental, smart grid, and CCUS technologies in the United States over the next year.

Demonstrate Clean Energy on the Ground: US DOE, State, and USTDA will undertake a number of additional pilot programs, feasibility studies, and other collaborative efforts to promote China’s energy efficiency and renewable energy goals. These will include expansion of our cooperation on “smart grids” that enable efficient and cost-effective integration of renewable energy technology, as well as the implementation through a US and Chinese private sector commercial agreement of a first-of-its-kind 380 MW concentrating solar plant in China.

Comments

ToppaTom

I cannot decide what kind of joke this is.

Maybe like; “Lending out all your money and then skipping town?”

Maybe more like; “Second prize is a free one week vacation in Beijing.
First prize is a free 3 day vacation in Beijing.”

I’m thinking that before Obama bargained with him, Xi was probably going to “promise” to quit emitting more greenhouse gasses right away -

But he realized he was up against the master of deceit, and did not want to win the Pinocchio award.

SJC

The U.S. emits three times more CO2 per person than China. China is on a growth curve, there is no way they would agree to stop growth right now.

Given the realities, this is better than having China say they will never do anything ever. The U.S. is wasteful and arrogant, it is time we did our part and stop being jerks.

ToppaTom

I agree with you; partially .

We are the richest, most prosperous and strongest country; as well as one of the most generous.

Probably because of this, many have gone soft and are jerks.

Like the poor little rich kid, many have rebelled against the affluent society that was achieved by other Americans before us.

Speaking for yourself, I presume you also consider your immediate family wasteful and arrogant, yet you are probably fiercely loyal to your sports team, your car brand, your favorite wine and your iPhone.

Also, If Xi had - No, Wait, - , If either party had said that “they will never do anything ever” about cutting greenhouse gas emissions, I would have assumed they intended drastic reductions.

HarveyD

When the world's two largest polluters agree to reduce their emissions by 25% by a fix date, it is very good news.

The other nations will follow and we will all benefit.

Polluting is not a necessary evil.

Economy can go hand in hand with ecology.

SJC

The interesting irony is reducing fossil fuel usage will actually IMPROVE the economy. Bush wanted us to believe that the only way we could have a good economy was burn MORE fossil fuels. Building new IGCC power plants will create more jobs, clean the air, be TWICE as efficient and allow us to produce synthetic fuels, reducing imported oil.

ToppaTom

1. “The interesting irony is reducing fossil fuel usage will actually IMPROVE the economy.”
- Delusional, wishful thinking. Tar sands and fracking have been a HUGE boon to the North American economy - much to the president's dismay

2. “When the world's two largest polluters agree to reduce their emissions by 25% by a fix date, it is very good news. “
- FIXED date? Good news? How about a "sucker deal and laughable promise by Xi".

3. “BUSH wanted us to …”? Really? BUSH ?
- Is that a 6 year old post?

ToppaTom

P,S.
I think I begin to see why you might believe that the recent elections were a ringing endorsement of the democrats and the administration.

Engineer-Poet

SJC, IGCC is slightly less efficient than ultrasupercritical coal.  It has the potential to allow e.g. SOFC topping cycles to beat USCC, but that in turn requires levels of gas cleanup far beyond mere IGCC and is expensive.

The CO2 reductions from either are marginal (<30%).  We need 80%, and should aim for 100%.  IGCC isn't going to do it.

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