Obama's Climate Deal: We Cut Emissions Now, China Cuts Later… Maybe

Obama's Climate Deal: We Cut Emissions Now, China Cuts Later… Maybe

The Obama administration is touting a new deal on greenhouse gas emissions between the U.S. and China, according to which the U.S. will decrease its emissions more rapidly now, and China will stop increasing its emissions around 2030. The deal was supposedly discussed and finalized between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in meetings Wednesday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal’s details are sketchy, but its scale “caught most climate-change experts by surprise.” The U.S. would “double the average pace of its carbon-dioxide reductions after 2020, eyeing an overall reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions of between 26% and 28% by 2025, compared with 2005 levels.” China would increase emissions for 15 years and draw 20% of its power from renewable sources.

The hope appears to be to jump-start global climate change talks, which foundered in Copenhagen early in President Obama’s first term, with China and other developing countries a major obstacle to progress. The U.S. has decreased emissions drastically in recent years owing to a market-driven switch to natural gas from other fossil fuels–a move the Obama administration has largely resisted, under pressure from environmental groups.

The deal itself formalizes an arrangement under which China is permitted a regulatory advantage. It is rather typical of deals made during the Obama administration, which tend to offer deep American concessions in exchange for cosmetic compromises–as in the new START treaty with Russia on nuclear arms reductions. 

In the midst of tense nuclear negotiations with Iran, the one-sided China deal may be a sign of things to come.

Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.

Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.