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U.S. Promises To Cut Greenhouse Gases By A Quarter Of 2005 Levels

The Obama administration is pledging that the U.S. will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent of 2005 levels over the next 10 years. The new target was submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Tuesday.

The step largely formalizes a plan that President Obama announced last November during a visit to China, in a move that was coordinated with China's first-ever pledge to cap its emissions.

China has not yet submitted its emissions plan to the UN body that is organizing an international treaty on climate change. So far, the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, and Mexico have submitted their goals, in addition to the U.S. (see their plans on the UN site).

"The treaty to be negotiated next December would require both developed as well as developing countries to set goals for reducing emissions," NPR's Christopher Joyce reports for our Newscast desk. "The previous climate treaty, drafted in Kyoto in 1997, excluded developing countries and has had only a modest effect on greenhouse gas emissions."

Applauding the U.S. plan, Natural Resources Defense Council President Rhea Suh said, "We are confident that the U.S. commitment can be met — and even exceeded."

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