President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly announced that the United States and China have formally joined the Paris Agreement ahead of the G20 summit. China and the U.S., the world’s two largest carbon emitters, are responsible for a combined 38% of global emissions.
The recent announcement makes it increasingly likely that the Agreement will take effect this year — far earlier than many thought possible. Under the joint announcement, the U.S. and China have committed to adopt an ambitious amendment to phase down hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions this year and to collaborate to address carbon emissions from international airlines at this year’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
A total of 26 countries have now formally joined the Paris Agreement, with 32 others representing over 21% of emissions committed to joining by the end of 2016. For the Agreement to enter into force, 55 countries representing 55% of global emissions must join.
“The Sierra Club applauds President Obama and President Xi for leading the effort to bring the Paris Agreement into force this year and tackle the climate crisis in a meaningful and swift way,” said Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune. “[The] historic announcement has set a global precedent that has catapulted the world to the cusp of formally implementing the Paris Agreement and will have major positive implications for generations to come.”
He added: “We look forward to continuing to work with governments around the world to bring the Paris Agreement across the finish line and will do our part to build on the promises made in Paris to reduce carbon pollution and ensure clean air, clean water, and healthy communities across the globe.”
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