US-China climate deal offers hope for Paris negotiations: Obama
Updated: 2015-01-21 14:39
US President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the climate change deal signed by the US and China last November offers hope for reaching a global agreement in the Paris negotiations at the end of this year.
"We made a historic announcement -- the United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions," Obama said during his State of the Union address.
"Because the world's two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we've got," he said.
Under the deal, the US agreed to reduce its emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below its 2005 level in 2025, while China agreed to achieve the peak of carbon emissions around 2030, and to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030.
Obama also declared climate change as the greatest threat to the future.
"No challenge -- no challenge -- poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change," he said, noting that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.
Obama's climate efforts, including introducing carbon emission restrictions, tightening fuel economy standards for vehicles and curtailing methane emissions for the oil and gas industry, have met tough opposition from Congress, which has repeatedly refused to enact a law on climate change.