Quantcast

U.S., China Formally Join Paris Climate Agreement

The U.S. and China formally joined the Paris agreement a day before the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, raising hopes that the climate accord could enter into force this year.

President Barack Obama, President Xi Jinping of China and United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon exchange greetings at the conclusion of a climate event at West Lake State House in Hangzhou, China, Sept. 3.Official White House Photo / Pete Souza

The two countries are the first major emitters to join the climate pact, bringing the total number of nations to 26 comprising 39 percent of global emissions. For the agreement to enter into force, 55 countries representing 55 percent of global emissions must join.

At the end of the summit, G20 leaders committed to ratifying the agreement and said they "welcome efforts to allow its entry into force by the end of 2016."

Joining the Paris agreement is President Obama's latest step toward cementing his climate legacy and ensuring that the U.S. remains a global leader on the issue.

"Nearly two years ago, the United States and China stood shoulder to shoulder to proclaim their commitment to solving climate change, kickstarting the process that culminated in a worldwide climate agreement in Paris," Ken Berlin, president & CEO of The Climate Reality Project, said.

"Now, the world's two largest emitters and two largest economies have taken the next step by formally joining the Paris Agreement. This continued cooperation and leadership on the eve of the gathering of the G20 sets a bold precedent for the rest of the world's major economies to follow and highlights the interrelationship between expanding economic prosperity and solving the climate crisis.

"Now it's time for the rest of the world to follow the U.S. and China, formally accept the Paris Agreement, and get to the hard work of implementing and increasing their commitments to solving climate change."

For a deeper dive:

News: Guardian, Reuters, Washington Post, AP, New York Times, Politico Pro, LA Times, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Politico, IB Times, The Hill, BBC, Indian Express, InsideClimate News, The Hindu, Christian Science Monitor, Climate Home

Commentary: AP, Seth Borenstein & Josh Lederman analysis; Independent editorial; ThinkProgress, Gwynne Taraska & Andrew Light op-ed; Guardian, Fiona Harvey analysis; Climate Home, Shelagh Whitley op-ed

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

Sponsored
by [D.Jiang] / Moment / Getty Images

By Alena Kharlamenko

Tofu is a staple in vegetarian and vegan diets.

Read More Show Less
KarinaKnyspel / iStock / Getty Images

2018 saw a number of studies pointing to the outsized climate impact of meat consumption. Beef has long been singled out as particularly unsustainable: Cows both release the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere because of their digestive processes and require a lot of land area to raise. But for those unwilling to give up the taste and texture of a steak or burger, could lab-grown meat be a climate-friendly alternative? In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from the Oxford Martin School set out to answer that question.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Three scissor-tailed flycatcher fledglings in a mesquite tree in Texas. Texas Eagle / CC BY-NC 2.0

By Gary Paul Nabhan

President Trump has declared a national emergency to fund a wall along our nation's southern border. The border wall issue has bitterly divided people across the U.S., becoming a vivid symbol of political deadlock.

Read More Show Less
PeopleImages / E+ / Getty Images

By Daniel Ross

Hurricane Florence, which battered the U.S. East Coast last September, left a trail of ruin and destruction estimated to cost between $17 billion and $22 billion. Some of the damage was all too visible—smashed homes and livelihoods. But other damage was less so, like the long-term environmental impacts in North Carolina from hog waste that spilled out over large open-air lagoons saturated in the rains.

Hog waste can contain potentially dangerous pathogens, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. According to the state's Department of Environmental Quality, as of early October nearly 100 such lagoons were damaged, breached or were very close to being so, the effluent from which can seep into waterways and drinking water supplies.

Read More Show Less
This picture taken on May 21, 2018 shows discarded climbing equipment and rubbish scattered around Camp 4 of Mount Everest. Decades of commercial mountaineering have turned Mount Everest into the world's highest rubbish dump as an increasing number of big-spending climbers pay little attention to the ugly footprint they leave behind. DOMA SHERPA / AFP / Getty Images

China has closed its Everest base camp to tourists because of a buildup of trash on the world's tallest mountain.

Read More Show Less