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US-China deal 'important' for global climate pact: UN chief
[NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar] A deal announced on Wednesday by the United States and China to curb their greenhouse gas emissions is an important step in securing a global climate pact next year, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.
Speaking on the sidelines of a summit in Myanmar, Ban called on other nations to emulate the two world powers and also put forward "ambitious" greenhouse gas reduction programmes.
"I want to commend President Xi Jinping of China and President Barack Obama of the United States for their leadership on climate change they demonstrated today in the joint announcement agreed to in Beijing," Mr Ban said.
Mr Ban described the deal as an "important contribution to the new climate agreement to be reached in Paris next year." As part of the surprise deal, Mr Xi said China had set a target date of "around 2030" for its greenhouse gas emissions to peak. He also pledged 20 per cent of China's energy would come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.
Mr Obama said the United States would cut its own emissions of greenhouse gases by 26-28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2025.
Those targets will form each countries' core pledges for a planned UN-brokered global climate change pact that is expected to be signed at a summit in Paris at the end of next year.
As part of that process, all countries are required to submit by March their pledges for action on climate change, which would take effect from 2020.
"I urge all countries, especially all major economies, to follow China's and the United States' lead and announce ambitious post-2020 targets as soon as possible," Mr Ban said.