Last week, the world’s two biggest economies — and also the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions — came to a historic agreement. The US and China jointly announced a deal to cut carbon emissions, reduce greenhouse gases, and tackle climate change. They took a powerful stance on the issue, which could prompt the international community to take action and create new urgency in the cleantech sector.
We can expect a boom in solar power generation, electric vehicles, and energy storage and smart grid deployment — that is, if China and the US make good on their promises and follow through with the obligations they’ve created.
Here are five things to know about the agreement and what it means for the future of renewable energy and the technology behind it.
The US declared that it will cut carbon emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. That’s a big jump from Obama’s previous plan of cutting emissions 17% by 2020, so this plan is ambitious but attainable. On its current trajectory, the US is reducing those emissions by 1.2% each year until 2020, but then it will have to reduce by 2.3% to 2.8% from 2020 to 2025. But, there are no new regulations. All these reductions will occur under existing law, according to the White House release.