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U.S., China announce deal on climate change targets

On Wednesday, the United States and China came together to reveal new goals to combat greenhouse gas emissions.

President Obama said the U.S. would aim to reduce pollution by 26 to 28 percent by 2025, compared to 2005 levels. This is an increase from Obama's previous goal of cutting emissions by 17 percent by 2020, The Associated Press reports. Chinese President Xi Jinping said that his country will set a target to cap emissions by 2030 or earlier if at all possible, and will aim to get 20 percent of its power from renewable sources. China has previously been very reluctant to make any promises on limiting greenhouse gasses.

"This is a major milestone," Obama said during a joint press conference with Xi in Beijing.

This move by the two biggest polluters in the world is seen as a way to get developing countries on board the push to halt climate change before international talks next year. "This is, in my view, the most important bilateral climate announcement ever," David Sandalow, a former environmental official at the Energy Department and White House, told AP. "It sends a signal the two largest emitters in the world are working together to address this problem."