Newspaper article International New York Times

Climate Pact Gets a Lift as U.S., China and Brazil Detail Plans

Newspaper article International New York Times

Climate Pact Gets a Lift as U.S., China and Brazil Detail Plans

Article excerpt

President Obama and President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil pledged to increase the use of wind and solar power.

Five months before a United Nations summit meeting aimed at forging a historic global accord to cut climate-warming emissions, significant signs of progress toward an agreement are emerging.

China, the world's largest greenhouse gas polluter, submitted a 16-page plan to the United Nations on Tuesday detailing how it plans to shift its economy to reduce fossil fuel emissions by 2030. On the same day, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, which is among the top 10 carbon emitters, and President Obama announced in Washington that their nations had agreed to sharply expand electricity generation from renewable sources.

But it is increasingly evident that the policy actions by these countries and others will not be enough to stave off a rise in the atmospheric temperature of 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, scientists say, the planet will be locked into a future of extreme storms, droughts, food and water shortages, and rising sea levels.

Under a United Nations accord reached in Peru last December, every nation is to submit a plan for cutting carbon emissions well ahead of the December summit meeting in Paris. The plans by the individual nations will form the core of the new agreement.

South Korea, Serbia and Iceland also submitted their plans for cutting emissions on Tuesday, joining the 40 or so countries that had already done so, including Canada, Mexico, Russia and the United States, along with the European Union.

And in the joint announcement by Brazil and the United States, the two nations committed to increasing the use of wind, solar and geothermal energy to make up 20 percent of each country's electricity production by 2030, which would double power generation from renewable sources in Brazil and triple it in the United States. Brazil also pledged to restore about 30 million acres of Amazon rain forest, an area about the size of Pennsylvania.

"Following progress during my trips to China and India, this shows that the world's major economies can begin to transcend some of the old divides and work together to confront the common challenge that we face -- something that we have to work on for future generations," said Mr. …

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