The world’s economic superpowers have essentially agreed that we can’t keep dumping carbon into the atmosphere. On Nov. 12, the White House and the Chinese government had a nice surprise for people that like to breathe pollution-free air and dream of one day owning oceanfront property, minus the risk of losing it to rising sea levels.
The U.S. and China pledged to slash their CO2 emissions. For America, that means an up to 28 percent cut in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2020. And here’s what’s China’s doing, according to a blog post in The White House Blog:
Chinese President Xi announced for the first time his intention to peak Chinese CO2 emissions around 2030, and further committed to make best efforts to peak early. China also announced a target of expanding the share of zero-emission sources in primary energy, namely renewables and nuclear, to 20% by 2030. To achieve that goal, China will have to deploy an additional 800-1,000 gigawatts of zero-emission generation capacity by 2030, about the same as all their current coal-fired capacity and nearly as much as the total installed capacity in the U.S. energy sector today.
I can’t even keep up with the buzz that this announcement has created. (Although, my brother assures that I can even. H/T Kyle!)
However, I did immensely enjoy The Washington Post’s fascinating account of the cloak-and-dagger-eaque way Secretary of State John F. Kerry helped orchestrate the deal overlooking Boston Harbor, among other places in the historically-rich Northeastern landmark city.
The opening paragraph sets a great stage…
On Oct. 18, as the haggling on a proposed climate deal was in full swing, Secretary of State John F. Kerry invited China’s top environmental official to a private lunch overlooking Boston Harbor. As they watched sailboats over plates of seafood, Kerry spoke of the harbor’s transformation from the days when the Charles River carried raw sewage.
And it gets even better from there. A great read, so get to it!
(Images: WhiteHouse.gov, Kyle Treasure)