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U.N. Climate Summit Pledges: Nations Line Up to Offer Carbon Cuts

'We Have to Lead' on Climate Change, Obama Tells U.N. 1:24

So which country will be cleanest, soonest? A parade of countries at the U.N. Climate Summit on Tuesday in New York announced or reiterated goals for reducing dependence on greenhouse-gas-producing energy sources. Tuvalu, a tiny Pacific island nation that’s vulnerable to rising seas, said that by 2020, 100 percent of its electricity supply would use renewable energy. Ethiopia’s president pledged “zero net emissions” by 2025, according to the summit's Twitter feed. Costa Rica pledged to use 100 percent clean energy by 2016.

Other countries offered more modest commitments. Chile pledged to use 25 percent green energy by 2025. Indonesia said it would cut its emissions by 26 percent by 2020. The European Union said that by 2030 its nations would cut greenhouse gases 40 percent from the 1990 level, The Associated Press reported. And what of the two biggest carbon emitters? President Barack Obama in his speech Tuesday said that the U.S. had cut its carbon emissions more than any other country over the past eight years. The U.S. has already pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and plans to issue new targets next year. China reiterated its goal to cut carbon emissions by 40 percent to 45 percent by 2020 over 2005 levels.

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— Gil Aegerter