G20 Summit Kicks Off In China; U.S. And China Ratify Climate Change Agreement

The G20 Summit meeting of the Group of Twenty is currently underway in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, the first ever G20 meeting to be hosted by China.

The G20 Summit lasts from September 4-5th and is attended by government leaders, finance ministers, and central bank governors from 20 major global economies.

Overall, G20 countries account for 85 percent of global GDP.

Prior to the G20 summit meeting, construction around Hangzhou was halted, and factories were asked to stop production in an effort to lower air pollution.

On Saturday, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping ratified the Paris Agreement of the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference held in Paris.

Both the U.S. and China are countries whose economies emit the largest amount of global dioxide emissions, a major catalyst for global warming.

The United States is believed to emit 18 percent of global dioxide emissions while China is responsible for 20 percent.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, global CO2 emissions have increased by about 90 percent since 1970, with emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes contributing about 78 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions increase from 1970 to 2011.

The second largest contributors are agriculture, deforestation, and other land-use changes.

Following the Paris Agreement ratification on Saturday, President Obama acknowledged that for the Paris agreement to enter into force, 55 countries representing 55 percent of global emissions must formally join.

“Together, the U.S. and China represent about 40 percent of global emissions. So today, we are moving the world significantly closer to the goal that we have set” President Obama said.

Leading By Example

President Obama said that by pledging to follow the Paris Agreement, the U.S. is leading by example and joins a host of other countries seeking to follow the established framework that lowers carbon emissions over time to avoid “some of the worst consequences of climate change, and pave the way for more progress in the coming years.”

“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” President Obama said.

The United States and China have developed a new record of leadership combating global warming that still needs greater involvement from other nations for the Paris Agreement framework to become implemented.

Michael Bloomberg, a U.N. Envoy for cities and climate change, encouraged other nations to join in the efforts to lower global emissions.

“By ratifying the Paris climate agreement today, the U.S. and China are demonstrating that the world’s two largest economies will help lead the fight against climate change, but it’s imperative that more nations join them. Cities are united in this effort, but to succeed, nations must be too, and I urge local leaders to continue pushing their national governments to ratify the Paris agreement in the months ahead” Bloomberg said.

The Paris Agreement News tweeted that 39 of the 55 percent global greenhouse gasses needed for entry into force. Getting Closer!

“39 percent of global GHGs now accounted for in double trigger mechanism for Entry Into Force”

Written By:

Johnathan Schweitzer





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