11/13/2014 10:07 pm ET Updated Jan 13, 2015

A Signal of Groundbreaking Progress

MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

This week's joint announcement by President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping to reduce their nations' carbon emissions is a major step forward in the global effort to solve the climate crisis. Much more will be required -- including a global agreement from all nations -- but these actions demonstrate a serious commitment by the top two global polluters.

President Xi Jinping's announcement that Chinese emissions will peak around 2030 is a signal of groundbreaking progress from the world's largest polluter. President Obama's commitment to reduce US emissions despite legislative obstruction is a continuation of his strong leadership on the issue.

By demonstrating their willingness to work together, the leaders of the United States and China are opening a new chapter in global climate negotiations. This bold leadership comes at a critical time for our planet when the costs of carbon pollution affect our lives more and more each day.