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China, US vow to sign Paris Climate Agreement next month

President Obama with President Xi Jinping of China in Le Bourget, outside Paris, in November during the United Nations climate conference. Photo: Associated Press

China and the US made a joint announcement on Thursday to sign the Paris Climate Agreement on April 22.

The announcement came before a meeting between President Xi Jinping and Barack Obama during the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit. As a statement of joint resolve to commit each country to enact the Paris climate accord as soon as possible, the two countries said tackling climate change has become the “backbone” of the China-US relationship.

The “joint efforts made by China and the US with regard to climate change will become a permanent heritage of the China-US partnership,” according to the announcement.

Both countries have taken strong measures to develop green, low carbon, and climate-oriented economy, which has promoted climate change action throughout the world, the announcement said. In November 2014, Xi and Obama unveiled an ambitious plan to tackle climate change, and a year later in Paris 186 countries proposed climate actions.

In September 2015, when Xi visited the US, leaders from the two countries announced domestic policies and cooperation proposals to combat climate change. At the Paris climate conference, China and the US played important roles in promoting a historical and ambitious global climate agreement.

In the joint announcement on Thursday, China and the US encouraged other nations who had joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to take action jointly so as to bring the Paris Agreement into effect as soon as possible.

The announcement also said leaders of the two countries know that the Paris Climate Agreement represents a global promise, and both sides have promised to make active progress in relevant multilateral actions with other nations this year. It will include an amendment to cut hydrofluorocarbons under the Montreal Protocol, and measures for addressing greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation at the International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly. China and the US will also organize ministerial conferences to promote clean energy innovation and application.

Leaders from China and the US are looking forward to the G20 summit in Hangzhou this year, and encouraging the 20 countries to conduct international cooperation in developing new energy and tackling climate change.

In addition, the two leaders promised that they will continue to subsidize and encourage the development of low-carbon technology by taking advantages of public resources.

(This article is edited and translated by Chunmei.)

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