Ef­forts by China and US: an ex­em­plar for world

China Daily (USA) - - LI’S VISIT - By FU JING in Brus­sels fu­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

To bring the hard-won Paris Cli­mate Change Agree­ment into force, United Na­tions mem­bers must com­plete a three-step dance move — sign it, rat­ify (or en­dorse) it and then de­posit the in­stru­ments of rat­i­fi­ca­tion or ac­cep­tance with the UN sec­re­tary-gen­eral.

There is a pro­vi­sion un­der which the agree­ment can only come into force 30 days after at least 55 coun­tries, ac­count­ing for more than 55% of global green­house gas emis­sions, have signed it.

The Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, Ban Ki­moon, aims to see the 55 coun­tries/55% tar­get achieved be­fore his 10-year ten­ure fin­ishes at the end of this year.

Be­fore Septem­ber only about 20 coun­tries had com­pleted their do­mes­tic pro­ce­dures, and they ac­counted for only about 1% of

All the other G20 economies have com­mit­ted to fol­low­ing the ex­am­ple set by China and the US, which pro­duce 38 per­cent of car­bon emis­sions.

global emis­sions.

But the UN’s score­board on its cli­mate change web­site made a big jump when two of the world’s big­gest car­bon emit­ters, China and United States, of­fi­cially en­dorsed the agree­ment on Sept 3, one day be­fore the G20 Sum­mit opened in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince.

At the cer­e­mony, which Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Pres­i­dent Barack Obama at­tended, Ban said what the two coun­tries had done “added pow­er­ful mo­men­tum” to the drive for the agree­ment to come into force this year.

What is more im­por­tant is that all the other G20 economies have com­mit­ted to fol­low­ing the ex­am­ple set by China and the US, which ac­count for 38% of global car­bon emis­sions.

In the nine-page com­mu­nique from the G20 sum­mit, the lead­ers said they were de­ter­mined to con­sider the two ma­jor in­ter­na­tional and in­ter­linked universal treaties clinched last year, namely the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment and the Paris agree­ment.

In or­der to do so, they com­mit­ted to en­dorse the Paris agree­ment as soon as pos­si­ble and rec­og­nized the need for a means of im­ple­men­ta­tion for other coun­tries, in­clud­ing fi­nan­cial re­sources, and the im­por­tance to help them, namely through the Green Cli­mate Fund.

To fur­ther mo­bi­lize world lead­ers to speed up the process, Ban was or­ga­niz­ing a spe­cial event for Sept. 21 to de­posit the in­stru­ments of rat­i­fi­ca­tion, ac­cep­tance, ap­proval or ac­ces­sion to the Paris agree­ment. To fur­ther in­di­cate China’s po­lit­i­cal de­ter­mi­na­tion in global green en­deav­ors, Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang was due to at­tend the event.

In an in­ter­view with China Daily, the Bel­gian for­eign min­is­ter, Di­dier Reyn­ders, said he sensed the en­cour­age­ment from China and the US and said the Euro­pean Union should fol­low suit.

The EU has not an­nounced its timetable for do­ing so.

On April 22, 175 coun­tries signed the Paris agree­ment at a cer­e­mony in New York, but sign­ing was only the first step to­ward join­ing the agree­ment. It must be fol­lowed by in­stru­ments of rat­i­fi­ca­tion or ac­cep­tance be­ing de­posited.

After ne­go­ti­a­tions, coun­tries agreed to limit global tem­per­a­ture rise to be­low 2 de­grees Cel­sius, while pur­su­ing ef­forts to keep any tem­per­a­ture rise at 1.5 de­grees.

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