Big Climate Deal Between US and China would require China to build 1000 Gigawatts of Nuclear or other zero emission energy by 2030

U.S. President Barack Obama announced a climate change agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping that would cut both countries’ greenhouse gas emissions by close to a third over the next two decades.

Under the agreement, the United States would cut between 26-28% of the level of its carbon emissions set in 2005 by 2025, and China would do the same by 2030. The administration hopes the announcement by the two superpowers will spur other nations to do the same. The White House said the ultimate target is to “achieve deep economy-wide reductions on the order of 80% by 2050.”

The announcement marks the first time China has agreed to cut its carbon emissions, and said the Chinese are calling for “an energy revolution” that would include a broad economic reform program that would address air pollution. China has agreed to provide an “additional 800-1,000 gigawatts of nuclear, wind, solar and other zero emission generation capacity by 2030, more than all the coal-fired power plants that exist in China today and close to total current electricity generation capacity in the United States.

The United States will need to double the pace of carbon pollution reduction from 1.2 percent per year on average from 2005 to 2020 to 2.3 to 2.8 percent per year between 2020 and 2025.

For China to cap its emission by 2030 while doubling the size of its economy will require not just building massive amounts of nuclear power but also massively boosting the efficiency of their existing coal plants.

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