US, Chinese cities declare climate goals in joint document

WASHINGTON - A group of major US and Chinese cities declared their goals for greenhouse gas reduction in a joint statement Tuesday, published ahead of year-end UN climate talks in Paris.

The document, released by the White House, outlined each of the cities' ambitions -- Los Angeles, for instance, is aiming for 45 per cent greenhouse gas reduction by 2025 (based on 1990 levels) while Beijing hopes its carbon dioxide emissions will peak by 2020.

Mayors, governors and province leaders from the two countries are gathered in Los Angeles for a two-day climate summit.

The meeting, which also includes US special envoy for climate change Todd Stern, shows that both countries are committed to reducing greenhouse gases, according to the White House.

In Beijing in 2014, President Barack Obama committed the United States to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2025 compared to two decades earlier.

China, the world's top polluter, agreed for the first time to slow emissions growth and ultimately reverse it after emissions peak "around 2030."

Climate change is one of the few policy areas in which both Beijing and Washington have demonstrated an active willingness to work together.

The climate goal document came out just days before Chinese President Xi Jinping comes to Washington for a visit beset by tensions over cyber security, maritime disputes and China's growing assertiveness.

And it comes just months ahead of the much-anticipated November 30-December 11 Paris conference, where the 195 members of the UN climate forum have committed to inking a long-sought universal climate deal.

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