China ratifies Paris climate agreement ahead of G20 summit

By: | Published: September 3, 2016 2:06 PM

China today ratified the climate change agreement reached last year in Paris that aims to significantly reduce global emissions, giving a big boost to hopes to bring the accord into effect by the end of this year.

China's approval to the agreement came a day ahead of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, where the leader of the world's two biggest polluters - US and China - will meet. (Reuters)China?s approval to the agreement came a day ahead of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, where the leader of the world?s two biggest polluters ? US and China ? will meet. (Reuters)

China today ratified the climate change agreement reached last year in Paris that aims to significantly reduce global emissions, giving a big boost to hopes to bring the accord into effect by the end of this year.

China’s approval to the agreement came a day ahead of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, where the leader of the world’s two biggest polluters – US and China – will meet.

China and the US together are responsible for around 40 percent of the world’s emissions so their ratification of the international legal document is viewed crucial.

The Paris Agreement is the third attempt to address the issue of climate change, after the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

The accord, which sets ambitious goals for capping global warming and funnelling trillions of dollars to poor countries, will come into effect 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified it.

Lawmakers of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress voted to adopt “the proposal to review and ratify the Paris Agreement,” state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

“Ratifying the agreement accords with China’s policy of actively dealing with climate change,” according to the proposal, which added that addressing climate change would help the country realise sustainable development.

The proposal said that ratifying the agreement was conducive to China’s development interests, and it will also help the country play a bigger role in global climate governance.

China along with 195 other countries signed the Paris Agreement at UN Headquarters in New York on April 22, Earth Day, sending a strong messaging to the international community as it joins forces against global warming.

The Paris accord (COP21) aims to reverse temperature increase, mainly caused by carbon emissions. It sets a target to hold the global average rise in temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and preferably below 1.5 degrees.

It is a major milestone, especially after the failed climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009 and disputes among countries on their responsibilities.

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