The US-China Agreement on Climate Change

Tom L. Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and US foreign policy columnist for “The New York Times” talks about the agreement at the Charlie Rose show.


"A year-end wrap up with Tom Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and US foreign policy columnist for 'The New York Times."     Air Date 12/18/2014


(around time point 1:00)

"The US-China agreement is a big deal, it is a very very big deal. It is very easy to underestimate these kind of things. When China says that they are undertaking to build up their renewable energies by 2030, by 20%, by roughly by 1000GW…

(pondering) 1000GW…1000GW… That is exactly how much electrical energy capacity we have as a country!


They are going to build a United States of renewable energy!

The implications of that in terms of innovation, in terms of scaling, in terms of bringing solar panels down that cost-volume learning curve are huge!"






"Everything You Need to Know about the U.S.–China Climate Change Agreement"
Article by the “Scientific American” magazine
Founded in 1845, “Scientific American”  is "the oldest continuously published magazine in the U.S". and “the leading source and authority for science, technology information and policy for a general audience”.


November 12, 2014 | By David Biello


Note I: The agreement between US and China, which together produce more than 40 per cent of CO2 creates hope that an important agreement could by signed by the nations of the world in the December 2015  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

[As mentioned in the article: “Prior to that meeting China and the U.S. pledged to cooperate but made no firm commitments to reduce pollution, resulting in the last-minute hullabaloo to salvage international efforts known as the Copenhagen Accord. (2009)”].

Note II:
COP - What’s it all about?
The main objective of the annual Conference of Parties (COP) is to review the Convention’s implementation. The first COP took place in Berlin in 1995 and significant meetings since then have included COP3 where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted.

In 2015 COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

Excerpts from the "Scientific American" article:


The U.S. will double the speed of its current pollution reduction trajectory, which has seen carbon dioxide emissions fall roughly 10 percent below 2005 levels to date. The country will now aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. That's in addition to the 17 percent reduction below 2005 levels due by 2020 (...).




In fact, in 2013 more new clean energy sources were added to the grid in China than fossil fuel-fired power—for the first time ever. China has added several hundred gigawatts-worth of such clean energy—the Three Gorges Dam alone pumps out 22 gigawatts— but hopes to add as much as 1,000 gigawatts of these low-carbon emitting sources by 2030. That would constitute 20 percent of its energy—and roughly the total amount of all electricity produced in the U.S. or all the coal-fired power plants China has built in the last few decades.