The US-China Climate Deal Was Inspired by the Charles River’s Pollution


By Eric Levenson for

The landmark US-Chinese agreement pledging to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions was hashed out over a lunch in Boston Harbor, and the Charles River’s pollution inspired the deal.

The Washington Post reports that Secretary of State and former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry took Chinese senior councilor Yang Jiechi to lunch at Legal Sea Foods Harborside on October 18 for preliminary talks about the climate change agreement. There, Kerry pointed to the Charles River and talked about its sewage-filled past and its less-sewage-filled-but-still-kinda-sewage-filled present.

“It used to be a symbol of everything wrong with the environment,” an official familiar with the exchange told the Post, summarizing Kerry and Yang’s table talk over a seafood meal. “But through smart, persistent government action it is now one of the cleanest in America.”

That lunch was a “key moment” in the secret negotiations, the Post reports, and led to Wednesday’s joint deal between the world’s two largest sources of greenhouse-gas emissions.

In the agreement, the US set a new target of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 26-28 percent by 2025, compared to 2005 levels. China, in turn, agreed its emissions would peak by 2030 and the country would increase its use of green energy.

You can reach Eric Levenson at Follow him on Twitter @ejleven. Read the original article here.

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