US, China send powerful political signal for global climate action

Posted on September, 03 2016

Major boost for new global climate deal
GLAND, Switzerland – Today’s joint announcement by the world’s two biggest carbon emitters – China and the US – that they have formally joined the global climate Paris Agreement sends a very powerful signal that there will be real global action on climate change.

China and the US are responsible for nearly 40 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. So far, 24 countries representing just over 1 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the deal. To enter into force, the agreement must be ratified by at least 55 countries representing at least 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

WWF-US senior vice president for climate and energy Lou Leonard said the move will spur high hopes for the United Nations special event planned for 21 September in New York aimed at securing the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement. “Urgent and accelerated implementation of the Paris climate deal is necessary in order to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. By moving so quickly to join the agreement, President Obama and President Xi Jinping are signaling to other countries that the Paris Agreement can come into force this year. Even six months ago, this seemed an impossible idea,” he said.

WWF-China CEO LO Sze Ping said the move by China sends an encouraging signal to the world. “This clearly shows China’s determination to implement the Paris Agreement. This also shows that China is taking more of a leadership role in the global effort to prevent climate change. Now other countries must act swiftly to ratify the deal, and to reduce their emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals, according to science and equity, and therefore increasing their current pledges.”
Renewable energy
© Global Warming Images / WWF
WWF is calling for more investment in renewable energy and decrease investment in coal, oil and gas.
© Kevin Schafer / WWF