US, China agree to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

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NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar – President Obama continues his Far-East Farewell Tour with a visit to Myanmar, also known as Burma, also known as the land of oppressive military rule.

The President has placed political reform at the top of his talking points, but no one in the White House believes change will happen soon.

President Obama is probably happy to be out of Beijing, a place where even the fashion models wear masks.

China is notorious for its smog. Sometimes it’s so bad that the government tells people to stay inside, to shelter in place.

So it was curious, if not a little encouraging, to hear that China and the United States agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a third over the next 15 years.

“As the world's two largest economies, energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change,” the President said during a joint news conference.

The President committed the US to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 percent below what they were in 2005, and to do it by 2025.

But the President agreed to let China take an extra five years. That would be 2030.

Whether the Chinese will do it, and whether the Obama Administration can sell it back home, may be just a lot of blue sky, which is something they don’t see often in China these days.