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.