- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 15, 2015

U.S. and Chinese officials are announcing stricter carbon-emission limits Tuesday for cities and regions in both nations, aiming to speed up goals set by President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping last year to curb greenhouse gases.

The announcements will come at a climate-change summit in Los Angeles Tuesday attended by mayors and Chinese provincial leaders. Several U.S. mayors and governors have made similar commitments.

When Mr. Obama and Mr. Xi announced the deal in principle last year, critics said the agreement would impose tougher goals in the U.S. than in China, which pledged only to begin slowing its rate of emissions by 2030. Mr. Obama committed to cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2025, saying China faces a bigger job in curbing its emissions and has started the process later than the U.S.

Mr. Obama is trying to build support globally for cutting carbon emissions ahead of a world climate summit in Paris in December.

The White House said the commitments by communities in the U.S. and China demonstrate a broad level of support in both countries to reduce the emissions blamed for climate change.

“They’re now out there publicly committed to these targets,” Brian Deese, climate adviser to Mr. Obama, told reporters Monday. “There’s a seriousness of effort, not just from the Chinese cities and provinces, but from the U.S. as well.”

At the meeting, for example, officials from the Chinese cities of Beijing and Guangzhou are pledging to slow their carbon dioxide emissions by the end of 2020. In the U.S., the state of California has committed to reduce emissions by at least 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and Seattle has pledged to become carbon-neutral by 2050.

“The declaration is the first of its kind between multiple community leaders from the United States and China to take parallel steps to address climate change at the state and local level, and is a concrete statement of intent by city, state, and provincial leaders from the United States and China to implement ambitious, verifiable actions to address climate change and simultaneously to support and expand bilateral cooperation and dialogue,” the White House said in a statement.

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