The first paragraph from a White House press release gives an overview of the China agreement:
Building on strong progress during the first six years of the Administration, today President Obama announced a new target to cut net greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. At the same time, President Xi Jinping of China announced targets to peak CO2 emissions around 2030, with the intention to try to peak early, and to increase the non-fossil fuel share of all energy to around 20 percent by 2030.So, let me get this straight.
Until 2030, China can continue -- completely unfettered -- its already massive growth in carbon emissions as noted by this chart from the liberal website New Republic:
Then, "around" 2030, China agrees to cap its emissions at that year's levels. God only knows what "around" means. In addition, China will "try" to stem emission growth early and increase non-fossil fuels to 20% by 2030.
As a reward and in advance of their anticipated good behavior after 2030, Obama agrees that by 2025 (at least 5 years earlier than China's "around" 2030 commitment), we will reduce our carbon emission by 26 to 28 percent from the levels that we were producing 10 years ago.
So, China maybe. Us definitely.
Of course, there is no penalty to either party for failing to meet the "targets" of this agreement. All of this rests on a handshake between our President and the President of China with no treaty or approval from Congress.
Of course this is "all show" An agreement that is intended to portray Obama as a leader and a feeble attempt at rehabilitating his image after the shellacking he received in the recent elections. Whether China will meet its commitments under this agreement is really questionable. But, one thing is certain, the President will use this to seriously hurt this country's economy by enforcing massive and expensive changes to our energy production. The increased costs won't hurt the rich. They will definitely hurt the middle class and, predominately, the poor. So much for closing the income inequality gap.
US and China reach historic climate change agreement: http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/12/world/us-china-climate-change-agreement/index.html
'Major Milestone': US, China Announce Climate Breakthrough: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/major-milestone-u-s-china-reach-climate-deal-n246636
'Historic' Climate Deal Between US and China - Time.com: http://time.com/3577820/apec-climate-change-barack-obama-xi-jinping-greenhouse-gas/
White House Press Release: FACT SHEET: U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change and Clean Energy Cooperation: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/11/fact-sheet-us-china-joint-announcement-climate-change-and-clean-energy-c
New U.S.-China climate deal is a game changer | Grist: http://grist.org/climate-energy/new-u-s-china-climate-deal-is-a-game-changer/
New Republic: Conservatives Are Missing the Point of Obama's Climate Change Plan: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117920/obamas-epa-regulations-will-send-strong-message-china
Sen. Inhofe: 'A non-binding charade': http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/11/12/greenhouse-gas-emissions-sen-james-inhofe-editorials-debates/18940687/