Will the U.S. follow China’s cap-and-trade deal?

China has made a commitment to start a national cap and trade program in 2017 to limit and price greenhouse gas emissions.

President Xi Jinping announced the country’s initiative during a visit to the U.S. in September. China is the world’s largest polluter, and contributes to 30 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, but the U.S. is not far behind.

NPR’s Scott Horsley writes,

“China and the United States are the No. 1 and No. 2 emitters of heat-trapping carbon pollution. Obama and Xi hope their commitment will prompt other countries to make similarly strong pledges to combat climate change in advance of an international climate summit in Paris later this year.

Climate activists in the U.S. tried and failed to push a cap-and-trade bill through Congress during Obama’s first years in office. As a result, the administration has relied on executive actions to control greenhouse gases, including new limits on power plants — the country’s leading source of carbon pollution.”

The plan was elaborated in a joint-statement from the White House,

“China also plans to start in 2017 its national emission trading system, covering key industry sectors such as iron and steel, power generation, chemicals, building materials, paper-making, and nonferrous metals. China commits to promote low-carbon buildings and transportation, with the share of green buildings reaching 50% in newly built buildings in cities and towns by 2020 and the share of public transport in motorized travel reaching 30% in big- and medium-sized cities by 2020. It will finalize next-stage fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles in 2016 and implement them in 2019.”

Today’s Question: Will the U.S. follow China’s cap-and-trade deal?