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29 Jul 2009: China and U.S. Sign Pledge
To Cooperate on Climate and Energy

China and the U.S. have signed an agreement to combat climate change and to work together to help each other make the transition to a low-carbon economy. Although neither country committed to concrete CO2 emissions reduction targets or to the amount of technical aid the U.S. might give to China, the agreement nevertheless represents a commitment on the part of the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters to work to wean themselves from fossil fuels. The agreement, signed at the U.S. State Department and with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in attendance, stipulated that the two nations will cooperate on research and development of energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energy, carbon capture and storage technology, sustainable transportation, modernization of the electric grid, and combating climate change and promoting low-carbon economic growth. The gap between the two countries on emissions reductions remains strong, however, as evidenced by the comments of a top climate official in Beijing. Xie Zhenhua, who coordinates climate policy in China, said that “the key to success” at upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen is “large, quantifiable mid-term emission-cutting targets for the developed nations.”


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