After facing years of opposition to the problem of climate change due to political denial of scientific evidence, President Barack Obama claims to finally have a plan to address the problem of global warming. President Obama met with the Chinese President Xi Jinping for a private dinner on Friday and came to an agreement on the first steps to take to resolve climate change going forward.
According to Time, senior White House officials have revealed that the climate change resolution plan begins with a national cap-and-trade program in China, which is scheduled to go into effect in 2017. As the two nations ranked highest in pollution and climate change contribution, the United States and China would be limited in their carbon emissions every year under the program. In addition, Chinese and American companies would be required to acquire permits for their carbon emissions.
Both nations are following through on promises made last November to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions and significantly reverse the environmental damage caused by climate change. While some scientists say it may be too late, things can only get worse of world leaders fail to act against climate change. Barack Obama made a pledge on behalf of the United States to reduce carbon emissions by 26-28 percent beneath that produced in 2005 by the year 2025, while China pledged to decrease greenhouse gas emissions substantially after the year 2030.
“This year is about showing the world our countries’ conviction to policies to reach those targets and to lead the world toward a durable global climate agreement,” said a White House administration official.
“President Xi is interested in enhancing understanding, that’s why they would benefit from an informal dialog,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Thursday. “Teams on both sides are working very hard for deliverables the [president] can announce tomorrow.”
The climate change plan announcement also comes in the wake of Barack Obama’s recent speech to all developed nations contributing to the problem of global warming. Claiming that nobody, including the United States, was acting fast enough to resolve climate change, he insisted that something must be done before it is too late. President Obama warned that our grandchildren could inherit a disastrous planet if any country fails to do their part. He also called out politicians and world leaders for continuing to deny the existence of climate change despite overwhelming evidence from the scientific community.
“Any leader willing to take a gamble on a future like that, any leader who refuses to take this issue seriously or treats it like a joke, is not fit to lead.”
According to USA Today, during the meeting between Obama and Xi, an agreement was also made to reach a “common vision” regarding climate change during a conference held in December in Paris. The plan is to reach a larger agreement on how to resolve climate change on a global scale. As part of the common vision, the United States is pledging to reduce heat-trapping carbon emissions by expanding domestic environmental programs, as well as promising to develop sources of cleaner, renewable energy.
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[Photos by Mark Wilson/Getty Images, NASA]