Jones says impact of U.S.-China climate pact limited
Don’t expect the landmark U.S.-China climate change agreement to nudge the world’s rising thermostat downward much on its own, scientists say.
While they hail it as a start, experts who study heat-trapping carbon dioxide don’t see the deal, announced Wednesday in Beijing, making significant progress without other countries joining in.
After Wednesday’s announcement, Climate Interactive ran simulations that showed the new agreement will mean about 700 billion tons of carbon dioxide will be kept out of the air by 2100, reducing expected cumulative carbon pollution by about 8 percent.
That would only prevent temperatures from rising about a third of a degree Fahrenheit (two-tenths of a degree Celsius), said Andrew Jones, co-director of the project at MIT. If all other countries followed the U.S.-China example, temperatures could be reduced by as much as 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius).