The United States and China, the world’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, have announced their negotiated commitments to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has agreed to reduce emissions for the first time. He has pledged to do this by 2030 or even earlier. Meanwhile, US president Barack Obama committed to deeper reductions by 2025.
This would provide a fillip to global efforts to reduce emissions beyond 2020 ahead of the United Nations meeting to be held in Paris in 2015.
China has previously only pledged to decrease the surging growth of emissions, but now it has made a stronger commitment. It has also agreed to generating 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
The US has also committed that by 2025 it would cut emissions by 26%-28% below the levels of 2005, reports The Guardian.
The EU has already backed a binding target of 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
At a joint press conference with Jinping, Obama was quoted by CNN as saying: "As the world’s two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change."
Obama, who is in China for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference, expects that this negotiated deal will inspire other nations to effectively cut down emissions.
"We hope to encourage all major economies to be ambitious, all countries, developing and developed, to work across some of the old divides, so we can conclude a strong global climate agreement next year," Obama said.
Following the announcement, Jinping was quoted by BBC as saying to reporters: "We agreed to make sure that international climate change negotiations will reach an agreement in Paris."