3 Obstacles for Surprise U.S.-China Climate Deal

POLITICS

A surprise U.S.-China climate deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions sets ambitious targets that will likely prove difficult to accomplish, especially given the looming Republican takeover of the U.S. Congress. (National Geographic News)

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama have met several times before, including this meeting in Rancho Mirage, California, in 2013. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama have met several times before, including this meeting in Rancho Mirage, California, in 2013.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Discussion Ideas

 

 

Scientists estimate we must limit our cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide to a trillion metric tons. The U.S. and China emit more carbon than any other countries. Graphic by John Tomanio, National Geographic

Scientists estimate we must limit our cumulative emissions of carbon dioxide to a trillion metric tons. The U.S. and China are the world’s largest emitters.
Graphic by John Tomanio, National Geographic

The terrific Nat Geo News article poses three general problems the U.S. and China will face in order to reach the new agreement’s record-setting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Each problem suggests its own discussion ideas.

1. Emissions are rising in both countries.

 

2. Obama faces intense political opposition.

 

3. Carbon-free alternatives are often costlier.

 

 

TEACHERS TOOLKIT

Nat Geo article: 3 Obstacles Ahead for Surprise U.S.-China Climate Deal

Nat Geo collection: climate change

Nat Geo MapMaker Interactive: Global Carbon Emissions

Nat Geo MapMaker Interactive: Alternative Energy Use

Nat Geo video: The New Empire of Cleantech

Nat Geo game: You Have the Power

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