World's Biggest Polluter to Make Big Announcement

Obama will join Xi to reveal cap-and-trade program
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2015 3:56 AM CDT
Workers install solar panels on the ground of an aquatic farm in Tongxiang in eastern China's Zhejiang province.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to make an announcement today on one of the few things they agree on. The White House says that at a joint press conference with Obama, Xi plans to announce a 2017 launch date for a national cap-and-trade program to cut emissions, reports the Guardian, which notes that China is the world's biggest carbon polluter. The plan follows a surprise deal on greenhouse-gas emissions announced during Obama's visit to Beijing last year, and the New York Times notes that it will undercut Republican arguments that there is little point in the US trying to combat climate change when China refuses to take action.

White House officials say the plan also includes a "substantial financial commitment" from China to help poor countries deal with climate change, reports the Guardian. Cap-and-trade programs involve the buying of permits by companies that exceed set limits, and the Washington Post finds it ironic that China is adopting one: The system is an American invention, but it was rejected by American lawmakers in 2009. In China, meanwhile, state media reports that Xi has managed to solve all major issues between the US and China, per the AP. "There are no two big countries in human history that have had a relationship as close as that between China and the US," says the People's Daily. (Yesterday, Xi posed for a photo with 29 top US and Chinese tech executives.)

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