Climate Change: China, U.S.A. Ratify Paris Agreement

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama made the announcement on Saturday.

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The Paris Agreement signed in 2015 with the main goal to slash greenhouse gas emissions and keep global temperature increase to well below two decrees Celsius is expected to go into legal force in the near future.  

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China and the United States of America that are responsible for 40 per cent of global carbon emissions gave a strong adherence signal to the agreement last weekend by ratifying the Paris Climate Change Agreement commonly called COP21, Al Jazeera reported. In the agreement, China and the US committed to cut levels of emissions by 2030. More than 180 countries signed the Paris climate deal and at least 55 countries need to ratify for it to go into legal effect.

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With the commitment showed by China and the US, more countries are expected to ratify the agreement during the upcoming UN Climate Change Week. Reports say before the announcement by China and the US only 23 countries, responsible for about one percent of global emissions, had ratified the agreement.

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Al Jazeera cited President Xi Jinping of China and US President Barack Obama of having called Saturday’s announcement a milestone. Their declaration came on the eve of the start of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou. Obama said the climate deal is "the moment we finally decided to save our planet". He is further quoted as saying that, “Just as I believe the Paris agreement will ultimately prove to be a turning point for our planet, I believe that history will judge today’s efforts as pivotal.”

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Obama added that, “where there is a will and there is a vision and where countries like China and the United States are prepared to show leadership and to lead by example, it is possible for us to create a world that is more secure, more prosperous and more free than the one that was left for us.” Chinese President Xi Jinping is quoted as saying that, "Hopefully this will encourage other countries to take similar efforts." He is quoted to have added that, “Our response to climate change bears on the future of our people and the well-being of mankind.”

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