For decades, we have known that dumping carbon into the atmosphere threatened our future.
And for decades, it has been argued that any US effort to respond to this fact would be futile because China and other developing nations would ignore limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
Now the President and Chairman Xi have jointly announced a program of significant carbon emission cuts to take place over the next 16 years. It's exactly the sort of leadership the world needs in the lead-in to the next big climate treaty Conference in Paris next year. This in itself is a huge game-changer for the climate negotiations.
But some have suggested that the agreement doesn't require China to do enough. They haven't looked at the numbers. The graph above shows the current Chinese emissions trend (idealized, in red), the trajectory with a 'hard cut' in 2030, and with a more realistic 'taper' to the 2030 deadline.
It's quite evident that the avoided emissions are tremendous.
Will you take a moment to thank the President for his leadership, and to support this important commitment to a better, safer and healthier future?
We, the undersigned, wish publically to express our thanks to President Obama and President Xi for undertaking an important, concrete action to address the threat of climate change. We appreciate this courageous step toward a healthier and more prosperous future than we could otherwise expect our children to see, and hope that it will inspire further action from other leaders around the globe.