US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping on Saturday ushered in a “new era” in the fight against climate change by ratifying the Paris Agreement, Greenpeace said in a statement that urged both leaders to boost their efforts to put the agreement in action as soon as possible.
“The world finally has a global climate agreement with both the US and China as formal Parties. This signals a new era in global efforts to address climate change,” EFE news quoted Jennifer Morgan, the Executive Director of Greenpeace International, as saying.
The US and China, two of the world’s largest carbon emitters, now need to “scale and speed up their efforts in charting a future that avoids the worst impacts of climate change”, Morgan added.
Greenpeace China’s climate change expert Li Shuo also welcomed the new commitment of the two major polluters on the planet, but said that ratification is only the first step.
“The Paris agreement is a benchmark for global negotiations on climate, not the end goal,” said Kyle Ash, head of Greenpeace Legislative Affairs in the United States. “The United States and China should now advocate internationally that the agreement comes into force as soon as possible, so that the world can continue moving forward,” he added.
Xi and Obama ratified the Paris agreement in the Chinese city of Hangzhou one day before the start of the summit of G20 leaders.
According to Greenpeace, the summit offers a platform for other G20 countries to show their commitment to the Paris Agreement after the step taken by Obama and Xi.
For the climate pact to come into force, at least 55 countries, totalling 55 per cent of global emissions, must ratify it. China and the US account for roughly 38 per cent of global emissions.