With Barack Obama and Xi Jinping ratifying the Paris Agreement, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged other leaders to accelerate their countries’ ratification process “so we can turn the aspirational Paris into the transforming climate action the world so urgently wants”. Ratification by the United States and China alone already cover 40 per cent of the world’s emissions.
China and the U.S. really want you to know we’re in it together on climate change.
The announcement late last week that the USA and China have both ratified the Paris Agreement is a giant step towards it entering into force, and is likely to make it more hard for Donald Trump, if he becomes President, to renege on the global commitment on climate change made by Barack Obama’s administration.
China’s legislature on Saturday ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
To the climate change deniers or skeptics, Ban said, “The debate over the climate phenomenon is over, scientifically and environmentally: it is affecting our daily lives”. “As the world’s two largest economies and two largest emitters, our entrance into this agreement continues the momentum of Paris and should give the rest of the world confidence – whether developed or developing countries – that a low-carbon future is where the world is heading”. Lawmakers voted to adopt “the proposal to review and ratify the Paris Agreement”, at the closing meeting of the bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.
Japan suffered far fewer protectionist blows than China over the same period which may provide a modicum of comfort for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Wendel Trio, director of the Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said that with the G20 presidency moving to Europe next year, the European Union should show leadership and “urgently reform its policies and tools that both directly and indirectly allow for financial support to the fossil fuel industry”.
Trade and investment is, as a matter of fact, also one of the top concerns of many countries. Hence it is unlikely that Mr. Trump would be able to achieve a withdrawal from the Paris Agreement within the course of a single Presidential term. The Independent cited Obama saying that their decision was “the moment we finally chose to save our planet”. The United States and China were central to that effort. “How has the US dealt with that?” “Never before have these two countries worked closely together to address a global challenge”. With the financial prowess as the largest foreign reserves holder and the largest trading nation on earth, China is increasingly in a leading position to take care of the health of the global economy, as it is expected to become the world’s biggest economy in the years to come. And, once the agreement enters into force, that a party can not then withdraw for three years-by when it would be the last year of the next United States president in Office!
Greenpeace International said in a statement, “The Hangzhou G20 communique issued today brings climate change to the center stage of the global agenda and sends a strong signal for all nations to join the Paris Agreement as soon as possible”.
White House Senior Adviser Brian Deese has said it is within the president’s legal authority to ratify the climate agreement without the approval of two-thirds of the Senate because the accord is an “executive agreement,” not a treaty.