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Published on September 22nd, 2015 | by Sandy Dechert


US & Chinese Cities Meet & Pledge Deeper Carbon Cuts

September 22nd, 2015 by  

US and China climate leaders held a summit in Los Angeles on September 15–16. The meeting fulfilled a key element of the US–China Joint Announcement on Climate Change by Presidents Obama and Xi last November. It will help ensure that ambitious actions on the part of the #1 and #2 carbon-polluting nations to address climate change will be implemented at subnational levels (cities, states, and provinces), which have made substantial progress in recent months and years.

US and Chinese governors and mayors sign Climate Leaders Declaration during the Los Angeles talks on September 15, 2015 (Xinhua/Yang Lei, via chinadailyasia.com)

US and Chinese governors and mayors sign Climate Leaders Declaration during the Los Angeles talks on September 15, 2015 (Xinhua/Yang Lei, via chinadailyasia.com)

Chinese officials announced after the bilateral talks that Beijing and 10 other Chinese cities have agreed to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. These cities emit about 25% of the nation’s total greenhouse gases. Beijing and Guangzhou, two of China’s largest cities, are aiming for 2020. The moves put them 10 years ahead of their previous target.

US cities and states pledging further actions include Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Connecticut, Portland (OR), Seattle, Houston, Salt Lake City, Des Moines, Carmel (IN), Pinecrest (FL), Miami-Dade County, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington (DC). Seattle is pledging carbon neutrality by 2050. Also, New York and Los Angeles have promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 and significantly cut down energy use in buildings.

In support of peak national CO2 emissions around 2030, provinces, states, and cities in the new compact will jointly establish an Alliance of Peaking Pioneer Cities (APPC). You can access the full declaration and actions and commitments of subregions in both nations here.

Below are the specific actions the leaders outlined for their respective municipalities and regions:

  • Establish Ambitious Target(s): Each municipality, county, or region intends to establish or re-establish ambitious and achievable targets and actions as listed in the Appendix to control greenhouse gas emissions, promote low-carbon development, and build climate resilience.
  • Report on GHG Inventories: Each municipality, county, or region intends to track and report emissions via regular GHG inventories.
  • Establish Climate Action Plans: Each municipality, county, or region intends to create a municipal or regional climate action plan to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate resilience.
  • Enhance Bilateral Partnership and Cooperation: Recognizing that regular bilateral dialogue and cooperation is essential for sharing best practices and lessons learned, as well as innovating, demonstrating, and deploying low carbon technologies, we will work toward establishing a US-China Climate Leaders Network, comprised of cities, counties, and regions in the context of U.S.-China Climate-Smart/Low-Carbon Cities Summit, to support sustained partnerships and knowledge-sharing.



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About the Author

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."

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