FutureStructure

U.S. and China Join Paris Climate Accord

The formal U.S.-Chinese announcement at the G20 summit means the accord could enter force by the end of the year, faster than anticipated.

by Boston Herald / September 6, 2016
Chinese President Xi Jinping greets President Barack Obama upon arrival for the G20 Summit at the Hangzhou International Expo Center in Hangzhou, China, Sept. 4, 2016. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

(TNS) -- Setting aside their cyber and maritime disputes, President Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping have sealed their nations’ participation in last year’s Paris climate change agreement — hailing their new era of climate cooperation as the best chance for saving the planet.

At a ceremony on the sidelines of a global economic summit yesterday, Obama and Xi, representing the world’s two biggest carbon emitters, delivered a series of documents to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The papers certified the U.S. and China have taken the necessary steps to join the Paris accord that set nation-by-nation targets for cutting carbon emissions.

“This is not a fight that any one country, no matter how powerful, can take alone,” Obama said of the pact. “Some day we may see this as the moment that we finally decided to save our planet.”

Xi, speaking through a translator, said he hoped other countries would follow suit and advance new technologies to help them meet their targets. “When the old path no longer takes us far, we should turn to innovation,” he said.

The formal U.S.-Chinese announcement means the accord could enter force by the end of the year, faster than anticipated. Fifty-five nations must join for the agreement to take effect. The nations that have joined must also produce at least 55 percent of global emissions.

The U.S. and China together produce 38 percent of the world’s man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

©2016 the Boston Herald Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.