Last week, the United States and China, the world’s two largest emitters, jointly announced their targets reducing carbon emissions after months of negotiation. The U.S. will emit 26-28 percent fewer carbon emissions in 2025 than it did in 2005, and China will see carbon emissions peak by 2030, when 20 percent of the nation’s energy will also come from clean sources.
A few days later, the U.S. pledged $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, which will help poor, vulnerable countries mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. The pledge was made a week before a formal pledging summit in Berlin, so that other developed nations could follow suit. Japan did just that, pledging $1.5 billion, and Canada made a surprise announcement that it too would pledge money. During the world leaders’ meeting at the United Nations Climate Summit, in late September 2014, France and Germany pledged $1 billion.
In a few weeks, nations will meet in Lima, Peru for the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. We hope the convention will result in an ambitious decision on what information nations need to include in their emission reduction commitments and draft text for the 2015 international agreement to address climate change.