China and the U.S. have finally agreed to ratify the climate change deal made in Paris at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou. The momentous decision made by the two countries, who have generally been regarded as some of the worst polluters in the world, will allow them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as pleasing environmental campaigners who were more than skeptical of any ratification.
President’s Obama and Xi were joined by Ban Ki-Moon the United Nations Secretary General for the momentous announcement last month, with Obama stating that the agreement was a, “turning point for the planet.” President Xi was slightly more reserved about the ratification, stating that China would, “unwaveringly support sustainable development”, however, it is unknown exactly to what extent that this would impact on industry and how such development will be implemented.
Environmental observers will see this as the two most prolific polluters coming together and either colluding on the how the terms of the accord are interpreted or combining their huge wealth and scientific knowledge to make the world a nicer and greener place. Obama’s statement that he will, “put his money where his mouth is” points to the second option, although it is interesting to see how this will play out once Obama leaves office and a new POTUS is in charge!
The agreement of China and the U.S. in ratifying the treaty brings the total number of signatories to over 200 for the Paris accord, which was announced last December. To succeed, it must be ratified by at least 55 countries, representing 55% of global emissions. Countries agree to keep average worldwide temperatures 1.5 degrees below pre-industrial levels, meaning that richer countries will have to spend and do more to compensate for smaller countries who may not be able to afford to reach their targets beyond 2020.
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