China Promises over $3 Billion for Climate Change

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During the U.S.-China summit in Washington, President Xi Jinping pledged $3.1 billion as part of a “common vision” in order to help developing countries deal with the challenges of climate change.

Important Step

The pledged funds, which are meant to help developing countries cut their carbon emissions as well as help them adjust to climate change, represent the first big commitment by Chinese authorities to help developing nations handle effects of an increasingly warming climate.

The agreement comes in the wake of an announcement made last November where China promised to limit its carbon dioxide emissions by the end of 2030, while the U.S. pledged to reduce its greenhouse gases between 26 and 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. China and the U.S. also promised additional joint measures in a “common vision” with a goal of delivering a significant climate deal in Paris later this year.

Additional Measures

Among the additional actions agreed on is the necessity for enhanced transparency in order to build trust and confidence in the execution of measures for emission reduction, including the report and review methodology. A factsheet issued by the White House also stated that the U.S. and China made progress on the very touchy issue of determining the difference between developing and developed countries.

Other measures emphasize the importance of reaching a successful agreement on the ambitious aim of cutting carbon emissions over time. This would be achieved by directing the world’s global economy toward a transformation toward much lower carbon energy sources during this century. Other measures include a confirmation by China that it will start a national emissions trading system in 2017, which will cover power generation, cement, steel, and other important industrial sectors, in addition to a “green dispatch” system which would be implemented to favor low-carbon sources for China’s electricity grid.

The announcement was welcomed by many analysts, but they also warned that other big emitters have to improve their efforts in order to achieve true global results.

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