NYT: Obama and President Xi of China Vow to Sign Paris Climate Accord Promptly

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President Obama with President Xi Jinping of China in Le Bourget, outside Paris, in November during the United Nations climate conference. Photo by Evan Vucci/Associated Press

This just in! President Obama and President Xi Jinping declared that they would sign the Paris Agreement on climate change on Earth Day, April 22, 2016, the first day the United Nations accord will be open for government signatures.

“Our cooperation and our joint statements were critical in arriving at the Paris agreement, and our two countries have agreed that we will not only sign the agreement on the first day possible, but we’re committing to formally join it as soon as possible this year,” Mr. Obama told reporters at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where he was meeting with Mr. Xi at the nuclear gathering.

Mr. Obama, who spoke across a table from Mr. Xi, added, “And we urge other countries to do the same.”

Mr. Xi, speaking through an interpreter, said, “As the two biggest economies, China and the U.S. have a responsibility to work together.”

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NYT: Climate Model Predicts West Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Melt Rapidly

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A view from a NASA airplane of large icebergs that have broken from the calving side of Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica in November 2014. Photo by Jim Yungel/NASA

The New York Times reported this week on new research suggesting a disaster scenario of West Antarctic ice sheet disintegration could occur much sooner than previously thought.

“The paper published Wednesday (March 30) does contain some good news. A far more stringent effort to limit emissions of greenhouse gases would stand a fairly good chance of saving West Antarctica from collapse, the scientists found. That aspect of their paper contrasts with other recent studies postulating that a gradual disintegration of West Antarctica may have already become unstoppable.”

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The world’s carbon-dioxide emissions have stabilised

pollution in China

Source: Getty Images

Interesting article published today in the Economist:

“The IEA’s most contentious finding is that emissions from China, the world’s biggest polluter, dropped 1.5% last year. Some experts will see this as evidence that China’s emissions will peak within a decade, if they haven’t already. The Chinese government, though, has insisted its emissions will continue to grow until 2030. In a report this month Fergus Green and Nicholas Stern of the London School of Economics said the official projections should be taken with a pinch of salt, since the government prefers “to under-promise and over-deliver.”

China sets cap for energy consumption for first time

A worker speaks as he loads coal on a truck at a depot near a coal mine from the state-owned Longmay Group on the outskirts of Jixi, Heilongjiang, China

Photo Credit: REUTERS/JASON LEE

China recently announced in its five-year plan that the country aims to keep energy consumption within 5 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent by 2020. This marks the first time China has set such a target.

Reuters reported this week that “China has long been considering an energy consumption cap in a bid to improve industrial efficiency, tackle smog and control greenhouse gas emissions, which are the highest in the world. Beijing is also pushing structural reforms to decouple economic growth from energy consumption.”

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Gung hay fat choy! 新年快乐!

Happy New Year of the Monkey! The Alliance celebrated its first ever Chinese New Year’s Party and Fundraiser. The guests enjoyed delicious Chinese food and the opportunity to network with leaders in the energy efficiency field. Join us at our next event!

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