While on a visit to Bejing, U.S. President Barack Obama yesterday announced with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping a new bilateral agreement on hard reduction targets for climate change pollution in those two countries.
The United States agrees to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 per cent from 2005 levels by the year 2025 and China commits to levelling off its carbon emissions by 2030.
When China or the United States act on any major global political issue, other countries take notice. And when China and the U.S. work in partnership on a major global issue, other countries definitely take notice. Looking at early analysis of what these announced targets represent in terms of the impact on our climate, it is clear they don't go far enough. However, it is a grand gesture by two powerhouse countries and that will have big ripple effects.
This all leaves Canada and its Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a very awkward position.