IEA hails US-China deal as 'giant leap for mankind'

12th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

The International Energy Agency on Wednesday hailed a deal between the world's top two polluters -- the United States and China -- on curbing emissions but said it wanted to see results.

"The joint commitment of US and China represents a giant leap for mankind.

," said IEA chief economist Fatih Birol.

He said the two countries were responsible for 45 percent of today's emissions so the decision "entails a very needed political momentum".

The agency's executive director Maria van der Hoeven said it was "a huge opportunity to make the difference".

But she added: "It's not only about announcing a deal, it will be about seeing it's going to work.

And there of course we'll have to wait and see how this deal will be really effective.

"The United States and China on Wednesday announced ambitious targets on greenhouse gas emissions as part of a "historic" pact that was praised by climate scientists.

At a Beijing summit, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping put their stamp on attempts to breathe new life into action against global warming ahead of international talks in Paris next year.

Attempts to deal with climate change, which scientists warn is approaching a potentially catastrophic point of no return, have long been stymied by the unwillingness of the United States and China to work together on the problem.

China set a target for its greenhouse gas output to peak "around 2030" and the US set a goal to cut its own emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

© 2014 AFP

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