The US and China today announced that they will sign the Paris climate change agreement on April 22 as the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters called on other countries to bring the global accord into force as early as possible.
In a joint statement after a meeting, President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping pledged to take concrete steps to implement the Paris agreement as early as possible.
Obama and Xi also called on other countries to sign the accord next month in New York.
“They encourage other parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to do the same, with a view to bringing the Paris Agreement into force as early as possible,” said the joint statement.
“Obama and Xi further expressed their commitment to work together and with others to promote the full implementation of the Paris Agreement to win the fight against the climate threat,” it said.
Leaders from nearly 200 countries forged the landmark climate deal in Paris on December 12, but the accord needs at least 55 countries representing at least 55 per cent of global emissions to formally accede to it before it can enter into force.
In the joint statement, the two presidents recognised that the Paris agreement marks a global commitment to tackling climate change and a strong signal of the need for a swift transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies.
“In this regard, the Presidents are also committed to working bilaterally and with other countries to achieve successful outcomes this year in related multilateral fora, including on an HFC amendment under the Montreal Protocol pursuant to the Dubai Pathway and on a global market-based measure for addressing greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation at the International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly,” it said.
To accelerate clean energy innovation and deployment, they agreed to work together to implement the goals of the Mission Innovation initiative announced at the Paris conference and carry forward the work of the Clean Energy Ministerial.
“They support a successful G-20 Summit in Hangzhou this year, including strong climate and clean energy outcomes, and call on the G-20 countries to engage constructively in international cooperation on energy and climate change,” the statement said.
The two countries agreed to deepen and broaden bilateral cooperation through the US-China Climate Change Working Group, the US-China Clean Energy Research Center, and other efforts.
“The Presidents commit to taking concrete steps to implement the commitments they made in their September 2015 Joint Statement to use public resources to finance and encourage the transition toward low carbon technologies as a priority,” the joint statement said.
Observing that over the past three years, climate change has become a pillar of the US-China bilateral relationship, the statement said both countries have taken strong measures at home to build green, low-carbon and climate-resilient economies, helping galvanise global action to combat climate change and culminating in the Paris Agreement reached last December.