June 30, 2015 / 3:32 PM / 5 years ago

U.S., Brazil pledge to raise renewable energy in power output

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington June 30, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Brazil pledged on Tuesday to increase their share of renewable energy in electricity generation from sources other than hydro-power to 20 percent by 2030 in an effort to show commitment to fighting climate change.

The two countries made the announcement in a joint statement issued while U.S. President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met at the White House.

Brazil also committed to reforest 12 million hectares of land by 2030 and agreed to put forward a broader climate change plan that is “fair and ambitious” and that “represents its highest possible effort beyond its current actions,” the statement said.

“This is a big deal,” White House senior advisor Brian Deese told reporters on Tuesday, noting the renewable energy target would require the United States to triple the share of renewables in its energy mix by 2030 and Brazil to double its share.

Brazil has not yet formally submitted its official climate strategy to the United Nations ahead of pivotal climate change talks in Paris in December but flagged some of the goals it will include in Tuesday’s joint statement.

“The presidents are committed to reaching an ambitious agreement that reflects the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances,” the statement said.

In addition to the reforestation and renewable energy goals, Brazil said it intends to “improve low-carbon agricultural and grazing land practices,” promote new, clean technology standards for industry and boost energy efficiency measures.

Reporting by Jeff Mason and Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Christian Plumb

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