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U.S. and China join forces to reduce CO2 emissions


The Obama Administration has taken huge strides in supporting clean energy and climate change over the past six years. This dedication to renewable energy support was recently expanded upon. In early November, President Obama announced a new target to cut net greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.  At the same time, President Xi Jinping of China announced targets to peak CO2 emissions around 2030, with the intention to try to peak early, and to increase the non-fossil fuel share of all energy to around 20 percent by 2030[1]

With these two countries making up over one third of the global greenhouse gas emissions, this joint announcement from the U.S. and China plays a significant role in addressing climate change. The new U.S. goal will double the pace of carbon pollution reduction from 1.2 percent per year on average during the 2005-2020 period to 2.3-2.8 percent per year on average between 2020 and 2025[2]. This new plan is an addendum to Obama’s previous climate goals. In 2009, the Obama administration took action to decrease carbon pollution by investing more than $80 billion in clean energy technology, including solar. The Climate Action Plan, announced early in Obama’s second term, ramped up the efforts for sustainable renewable energy and efficiency.


This announcement in conjunction with China is especially significant as it is the first time China has agreed to peak its CO2 emissions. Many policy markers in the U.S. expect China to succeed “in peaking its emissions before 2030 based on its broad economic reform program, plans to address air pollution, and implementation of President Xi’s call for an energy revolution.” It will require China to deploy an additional 800-1,000 gigawattsof nuclear, wind, solar and other zero emission generation capacity by 2030 –more than all the coal-fired power plants that exist in China today and closeto total current electricity generation capacity in the United States.  


The U.S. and China Climate & Clean EnergyCooperation will focus on the following:

  • An expanded commitment to the U.S-China Clean Energy Research Center
  • Advance major carbon capture, use and storage demonstrations
  • Enhanced cooperation on Hydroflurocarbons
  • Launch a Climate-Smart/Low-CarbonCities Initiative
  • Promote trade in green goods
  • Demonstrate clean energy on the ground


As the importance and dedication to clean energy continues to grow, we look forward to how the solar industry will grow and expand over the next several decades.


To learn more about the U.S.–China Joint Announcement on Climate Change and Clean Energy Cooperation, read the entire press release here.



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