Action today by the world’s two largest carbon-emitting countries makes a decisive advance toward bringing the Paris Agreement on climate change officially into force.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in Hangzhou, China, where the two leaders have met in the context of the G-20, that their countries have officially joined the Agreement.
The United Nations Foundation saluted the two nations’ leadership. President and CEO Kathy Calvin said:
“Climate change is one of the greatest collective challenges that humanity has ever faced. Today’s announcement shows that the largest carbon-emitting countries are committed to taking bold action to protect the climate that sustains us all.” This action builds on the breakthrough leadership and collaboration between the United States and China in Beijing 18 months ago that was one of the key drivers of the Paris Agreement.
“We are confident that other countries around the world will also act and quickly join the Agreement to help bring it into force this year. Together, we can move toward a clean energy economy for sake of our people and our planet.”
The Paris Agreement is the product of years of international negotiation, culminating in Paris last December when over 190 nations met to adopt the historic international accord on climate change. On Earth Day of this year, the agreement was signed at the United Nations by 175 countries, the most signatures to an international agreement on any single day in history.
The Paris Agreement commits parties to take action to keep global temperature rise well below 2° Celsius to stave off the worst impacts of climate change on health, food security, and extreme weather. The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries have formally joined, representing at least 55 percent of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions. China and the United States together make up 38 percent of the world’s emissions, and the fact they have officially joined the agreement this early marks significant progress toward ensuring the Paris Agreement takes effect quickly.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit http://www.unfoundation.org.