China’s President Xi Jinping agreed to a date of 2030 for peak CO2 emissions. “The statement is an upbeat signal to motivate other countries but the timeline China has committed to is not a binding target,” said Li Junfeng, an influential Chinese climate policy adviser linked to China’s state planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission.
President Barack Obama said the United States would cut its own emissions by more than a quarter by 2025 relative to 2005. But the US had already pledged to cut its carbon emissions by 17 percent by 2020, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell branded the new U.S. emission cuts as part of Obama’s “ideological war on coal.”
For China, the targets add little to its existing commitments to wean itself off carbon, and they are primarily, if not solely determined by China’s need to reduce local air pollution.