Video: U.S.-China Climate Pact Is the Real Deal

Circle of Blue’s Keith Schneider discusses the implications of the landmark climate agreement.

Weeks before negotiators met in Lima in December 2014 to lay the groundwork for a climate change treaty, they awoke to a surprise.

President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China announced a historic pact, according to my colleague, Keith Schneider, Circle of Blue’s senior editor. The two nations vowed to cap carbon emissions and collaborate on new technologies that create cleaner, greener, healthier cities. The agreement included a provision to study the connections between energy production and water use, according to my reporting.

The November 12 announcement marked a significant turn in international climate politics and buoyed the spirits of negotiators who are working toward a capstone climate agreement to be signed in Paris in December 2015.

Keith spoke with the Yale Climate Forum about the implications of the U.S.-China agreement and the competition for water in a dry and growing China, which he extensively reported on for our Choke Point: China series.

“How is [China] going to produce that electricity and still be able to survive as an economy and as a country because most of that energy is coming out of its dry north, its desert north, out of the Yellow River Basin?” Keith asked, noting that Chinese officials have opened their eyes to the undeniable truth that a lack of fresh water is an obstacle to the country’s current development path.

“So they understand that they are driving headlong into this huge impediment, this wall, that not only will affect China’s energy sector, it will affect its whole economy,” Keith said.

Along with Keith, other water and climate experts were interviewed — for example, the Pacific Institute’s Peter Gleick. The video also captures key interviews from media sources ranging from CBS, NBC, PBS, and even the David Letterman show. Watch the entire interview in the video below.

What do you think about the U.S.-China climate deal? Will it help to bring definitive change in Paris? Contact Brett Walton, or send a tweet to @waltonwater, or comment below.

–Brett Walton, reporter

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