As speculated in our news story last week, the US and China, the world’s largest carbon emitters, formally announced that they will endorse the Paris Climate Change Agreement which many campaigners are hailing as an important advance in the battle against global warming.
World leaders have gathered at the G20 summit, being held in China, to discuss climate change, the war in Syria and Hinkley Point.
The joint announcement from the US and China evidences how the world’s two largest economies, despite their differences, are able to come together in their fight against climate change. They hope that leading by example can inspire action around the world.
If the Paris Agreement was to come into force this year, as it is hoped, it could mean that the governments (nearly 200) who were party to it will be obligated to meet the agreements emission-cutting pledges which were made in December 2015. The EU, for example, would need to cut their emissions by 40% by 2030 (based on 1990 levels) and the US would need to cut their emissions by 28% by 2025 (compared with their 2005 levels).
The deal also forces countries to commit to keeping temperatures below 1.5C above pre-industrial levels – which is not going to be an easy task – and for the richer countries to give climate assistance to poorer countries past 2020.
The Paris Agreement must be followed by 55 countries, which represent 55% of global emissions, in order for it to come into power.
Therefore news that the world’s largest emitters – who jointly are responsible for around 38% of global emissions – have formally agreed to the deal is a major step in the right direction towards achieving the Paris Agreement.
As of Saturday the 3rd of September, only 24 countries had ratified the agreement, even though 180 had signed it.
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