China’s president Xi Jinping will announce an ambitious plan to reign in harmful greenhouse gas emissions, The New York Times reports.
The plan – which is meant to encourage the use of clean energy sources by putting annual limits on the amount of carbon pollution that can be emitted – represents a significant step for the world’s second-largest economy.
The agreement, expected to begin in 2017, could help set the tone for global action on climate change, particularly in the US where it has largely been reduced to a partisan issue.
China’s plan, to be announced by President Xi Jinping Friday, features some of the hallmarks of the cap-and-trade program US economists have developed, including:
- Yearly caps on carbon emissions Permission for companies to buy and sell rights to pollute
Additionally, China’s plan is expected to feature a so-called “green dispatch” strategy that would incentivize the use of green energy.
Such measures are meant to “drive industry to cleaner forms of energy,” The Times notes, while making the dirtiest forms of pollution – particularly from industries that produce electricity and steel – more expensive.
Officials from China also met with California leaders in Los Angeles last week, reportedly to discuss collaborating with the state’s existing cap-and-trade program, according to people who attended the meeting, as cited by The Times.
- Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters
A national cap-and-trade measure touted by the Obama Administration failed to make it through Congress during Obama’s first term, but the White House has continued to push for new ways to advance the climate change narrative.
President Obama last month unveiled a major new plan to cut emissions from US power plants, calling it “the single most important step” America has ever taken to fight climate change.
Iterations of the proposed national cap-and-trade program already exist in some states, including California and several areas of the Northeast.