United States, China ratify Paris Agreement climate change agreement

HANGZHOU, China, Sept. 3 (UPI) — The United States and China announced their decision to formally ratify the Paris Agreement to combat climate change on Saturday.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered documents to U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon needed to officially ratify the agreement, providing a significant step toward bringing the agreement into action.

Nearly 200 countries signed the agreement in December, but 55 countries representing 55 percent of the world’s emissions must ratify the agreement for it to go into effect.

The addition of the United States and China which are responsible for a combined total of 40 percent of emissions provided a boost, but Obama and Xi called on other parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change to ratify in hopes of bringing it into action this year.

“This is not a fight that any one country no matter how powerful can take alone,” Obama said, according to Sky News. “Some day we may see this as the moment that we finally decided to save our planet.”

Both countries also promised to publish their respective “mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies” as well as engage in technical collaboration and consultation on their strategies.

The U.S. and China also agreed to ambitious domestic action towards green, low-carbon and climate-resilient economies as well as working toward an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons.

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