The US and China have both formally joined the Paris global climate agreement on the eve of the G20 summit in Hangzhou. The Paris deal is the world's first comprehensive climate agreement, but must first be ratified by at least 55 countries, which between them produce 55% of global carbon emissions.
Before the US and China made their announcement, the 23 nations that had so far ratified the agreement accounted for just over 1% of emissions. The US and China are together responsible for 40% of the world's carbon emissions. Members of China's National People's Congress Standing Committee formally adopted the Paris Agreement on Saturday morning, and the White House issued a statement at the same time announcing the US move.
This announcement marks a milestone in President Obama and President Xi’s legacy of climate leadership and represents a significant step towards the Paris Agreement entering into force this year. In addition, both sides stated their intention to prepare and publish their respective “mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies” under the Paris Agreement. The United States has previously committed to publishing its strategy this year, and today, China committed to prepare its strategy as early as possible. The US and China also announced that they will engage in technical collaboration and consultation on their strategies.
Both leaders affirmed their commitment to work together to reach successful outcomes this year in adopting an ambitious amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phasedown HFCs and on a market-based measure to reduce carbon emissions from international aviation, and announced continued bilateral climate cooperation and domestic action.
The UK has still to ratify the Paris deal.