The historic deal announced between the U.S. and China to reduce carbon emissions is a significant step forward on the road to an international agreement on climate change in Paris next year (“China, U.S. agree to curb pollution from fossil fuels,” Nov. 12).
Although this joint announcement between the two countries is nonbinding, it is the first time the United States and China, the two largest carbon polluters, have outlined clear goals to reduce their emissions. The agreement would put the United States “on a trajectory to reduce overall emissions roughly 80 percent by 2050.”
China, in recent years, has started to follow a more sustainable development path and is now becoming a leader in alternative energy programs. In 2013, China invested $23.5 billion in global solar industry financing and has pledged in the current agreement to increase its zero emission sources of energy 20 percent by 2030.
Despite the efforts of climate denying politicians and fossil fuel executives to derail progress in addressing global warming, more than 66 percent of Americans support climate action. The best way to sharply reduce CO2 emissions is to put a high price on carbon through a carbon fee and dividend program, returning the proceeds to all American households equally.