U.S. and China to Sign Paris Climate Agreement on Earth Day
The two nations will also “take their respective domestic steps in order to join the agreement as early as possible this year” and urge other countries to do the same, “with a view to bringing the Paris agreement into force as early as possible.”
The presidents also indicated that they are planning agreements to limit aviation emissions and the powerful greenhouses gases known as HFCs. Experts and environmental groups are heralding the announcement as a “significant” step, saying that the U.S.-China commitment sends a “strong signal” to other countries.
Here's the U.S.-China joint presidential statement on climate change:
1. Over the past three years, climate change has become a pillar of the U.S.-China bilateral relationship. Both countries have taken strong measures at home to build green, low-carbon and climate-resilient economies, helping galvanize global action to combat climate change and culminating in the Paris Agreement reached last December. With their joint announcement of ambitious climate actions in November 2014, President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping sought to lead by example, and by the time the Paris conference opened a year later, some 186 countries had put forward their own climate actions. In September 2015, the two leaders laid out a common vision for the Paris outcome during President Xi’s State Visit to Washington and also announced major domestic policy measures and cooperative initiatives to combat climate change, as well as significant progress on climate finance. In Paris, the United States and China, working together and with others, played a critical role in crafting a historic, ambitious global climate change agreement.
Here's why the U.S. and China are signing the historic #ParisAgreement on Earth Day🌎 → https://t.co/e6Tohm2qES https://t.co/zcNE6KZy6A— The White House (@The White House)1459457336.0
2. Today, the two Presidents announce another significant step in their joint climate efforts. The United States and China will sign the Paris Agreement on April 22nd and take their respective domestic steps in order to join the Agreement as early as possible this year. They encourage other Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to do the same, with a view to bringing the Paris Agreement into force as early as possible. The Presidents further express their commitment to work together and with others to promote the full implementation of the Paris Agreement to win the fight against the climate threat.
3. The Presidents recognize that the Paris Agreement marks a global commitment to tackling climate change and a strong signal of the need for a swift transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies. In this regard, the Presidents are also committed to working bilaterally and with other countries to achieve successful outcomes this year in related multilateral fora, including on an HFC amendment under the Montreal Protocol pursuant to the Dubai Pathway and on a global market-based measure for addressing greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation at the International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly. To accelerate clean energy innovation and deployment, they will work together to implement the goals of the Mission Innovation initiative announced at the Paris conference and carry forward the work of the Clean Energy Ministerial. They support a successful G-20 Summit in Hangzhou this year, including strong climate and clean energy outcomes, and call on the G-20 countries to engage constructively in international cooperation on energy and climate change. And they will continue to deepen and broaden bilateral cooperation through the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group, the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center, and other efforts.
4. Finally, the Presidents commit to taking concrete steps to implement the commitments they made in their September 2015 Joint Statement to use public resources to finance and encourage the transition toward low carbon technologies as a priority. Since the Joint Statement, the United States led an effort in the OECD to successfully adopt the first-ever set of multilateral standards for support of coal-fired power plants using export credit, and China has been strengthening its green and low-carbon policies and regulations with a view to strictly controlling public investment flowing into projects with high pollution and carbon emissions both domestically and internationally.
5. The joint efforts by China and the United States on climate change will serve as an enduring legacy of the partnership between our two countries.
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By Gwen Ranniger
In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.
1. Fragrance – Avoid It<p>One of the fastest ways to narrow down your product options is immediately eliminating any product that promotes a fragrance, or parfum. That scent of "fresh breeze" or lemon might initially smell good, but the fragrance does not last. What does last? The concoction of various undisclosed and unregulated chemicals that created that fragrance.</p><p>Many fragrances contain phthalates, which are linked to many health risks including reproductive problems and cancer.</p>
2. With Bleach? Do Without<p>Going scent-free should have narrowed down your options substantially – now, check the front of the remaining packaging. Any that include ammonia or chlorine bleach ought to go, as these substances are irritating and corrosive to your body. While bleach is commonly known as a powerful disinfectant, there are safer alternatives that you can use in your home, such as sodium borate or hydrogen peroxide.</p><p>While you're at it, check if there are any warnings on the label – "flammable," "use in ventilated area," etc. – if the product is hazardous, that's a red flag and should be avoided.</p>
3. Check the Back Label<p>Flip to the back of the remaining contenders and check out that ingredient list. Less is more, here. Opt for a shorter ingredient list with words you recognize and/or can pronounce.</p><p>You may notice many products do not have ingredient lists – while this doesn't necessarily mean they contain toxic ingredients, transparency is key. Feel free to look up a list online, or stick to products that are open about their ingredients.</p>
4. Ingredients to Avoid<p>We already mentioned that cleaners containing fragrance or parfum, and bleach or ammonia should be avoided, but there are other ingredients to look out for as well.</p><ul><li>Quaternary ammonium "quats" – lung irritants that contribute to asthma and other breathing problems. Also linger on surfaces long after they've been cleaned.</li><li>Parabens – Known hormone disruptor; can contribute to ailments such as cancer</li><li>Triclosan – triclosan and other antibacterial chemicals are registered with the EPA as pesticides. Triclosan is a known hormone disruptor and can also impact your immune system.</li><li>Formaldehyde – Causes irritation of eyes, nose, and throat; studies suggest formaldehyde exposure is linked with certain varieties of cancer. Can be found in products or become a byproduct of chemical reactions in the air.</li></ul>
Cleaning Products and Toxics: The Bottom Line<p>Do your research. There are many cleaning products available, but taking these steps will drastically reduce your options and help keep your home toxic-free. Protecting your home from bacteria and viruses is important, but make sure you do so in a way that doesn't introduce other health risks into the home.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.ehn.org/how-to-shop-for-cleaning-products-while-avoiding-toxics-2648130273.html" target="_blank">Environmental Health News</a>. </em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649054624#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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