PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

For The First Time, China Agrees To Cap Carbon Emissions

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a joint press conference at the Great Hall of People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a joint press conference at the Great Hall of People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

The U.S. and China surprised the world yesterday by announcing an agreement on greenhouse gases, including a Chinese pledge to cap carbon emissions — a first for the country.

China and the U.S. emit 45 percent of the world’s “greenhouse gases,” which scientists say are driving global climate change.

Under the new agreement, the U.S. will sharply reduce emissions by 2025, cutting the total gases by at least 26 percent below 2005 levels. China will stop increasing emissions by 2030 at the latest, and will draw only 80 percent of its energy from fossil fuels.

Environmentalists have been hoping for stronger action from China, which is the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases, but experts are calling this a groundbreaking agreement that will energize upcoming climate change talks in Paris, and put pressure on other countries to take stronger measures on the issue.

China will turn its pledge into a new domestic law. The future of the agreement in the U.S. is less clear. While democratic leaders are praising it, Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is criticizing the agreement, calling it unrealistic and saying it will cost jobs and result in higher utility rates.

Jake Schmidt of the Natural Resources Defense Council joins Here & Now’s Sacha Pfeiffer to discuss the significance of the agreement.

Guest


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

May 27 Comment

How Trump, Clinton And Sanders Change Their Voices To Win Over Voters

Charisma is a crucial component of a politician's appeal to voters. But there's more than one way to inspire confidence.

May 27 52 Comments

New York Considers A Ban On Declawing Cats

Some pet owners have routinely had their cats declawed. But opponents say the procedure isn't so simple.

May 27 3 Comments

New Drug-Resistant Bacteria Seen In U.S. For The First Time

The CDC's director has expressed concern, saying it shows that we're close to the "end of the road" for antibiotics.

May 26 5 Comments

As Lethal Heroin Overdose Numbers Rise, Families Find Solace In Organ Donation

Organ banks around the country have noted an increasing number of organs from donors who have died of overdoses.