US and China will sign the Paris deal – raising hopes for ICAO agreement on MBM in September
China and the US, the world’s two leading carbon polluters, have said they plan to formally join the Paris climate agreement in April. In a joint statement, they agreed to sign the historic deal to cut CO2 emissions and take “respective domestic steps” to approve it as “early as possible this year.” They also urge other nations to follow suit. The support from these two means the Paris deal is closer to coming into force. Over 55% of global carbon emissions and 55 countries must formally join for the Paris Agreement to apply from 2020. China and the US account for about 40%. The US Environmental Defense Fund said that support this year for a global market-based measure to address greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation is also very important. “A strong agreement at the 2016 ICAO Assembly is one of the top global priorities for climate change this year — and a key part of President Obama’s legacy.” They hope the Chinese and US commitment may encourage other countries in ICAO to act, and open a pathway to resolving the key question of how to share, fairly, the responsibilities for offsetting future aviation emissions. There are only 190 days till the conclusion of the ICAO Assembly in Montreal.
US-China announcement significant step toward turning promise of Paris into reality
March 31, 2016
By the Environmental Defense Fund – in the USA
“This announcement is the latest confirmation that the world’s two largest economies and two largest emitters are committed to working together in the fight against climate change.
“U.S.-China cooperation was critical to reaching the landmark climate agreement in Paris last December — and will be equally crucial to implementing it. By announcing they will sign the Paris Agreement next month in New York, and urging other nations to follow their lead, the two countries are taking a significant step toward turning the promise of Paris into reality.
“Equally important is the support for other multilateral efforts, in particular the adoption this year of a global market-based measure to address greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation. A strong agreement at the 2016 International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly is one of the top global priorities for climate change this year — and a key part of President Obama’s legacy. Today’s renewed sign of commitment from the U.S. and China should strengthen the resolve of other countries in ICAO — and open a pathway to resolving the key question of how to share, fairly, the responsibilities for offsetting future aviation emissions. The clock is ticking, with only 190 days left until the conclusion of the ICAO Assembly in Montreal.”
Nathaniel Keohane, Vice President, Global Climate, Environmental Defense Fund
Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.
US and China to sign Paris climate deal in April
Countries responsible for 40% of world’s carbon emissions to formally approve historic pact and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5C, reports Climate Home
By Alex Pashley for Climate Home, part of the Guardian Environment Network
Friday 1 April 2016 (Guardian)
China and the United States, the world’s two leading carbon polluters, said on Thursday they planned to formally join the Paris climate agreement in 2016.
In a joint statement, the major powers agreed to sign the historic deal to cut carbon emissions at a UN ceremony in April, and take “respective domestic steps” to approve it as “early as possible this year.”
The countries’ support brings the pact struck last December much closer to coming into force, and marking their commitment to drive efforts to slash greenhouse gases.
Over 55% of global carbon emissions and 55 countries must formally join for it to apply from 2020. China and the US account for about 40%.
Brian Deese, special adviser on climate change to President Obama said swift approval would keep efforts to curb emissions on track.
“The two largest economies and two largest emitters are saying we are not going to wait, not just sign on the first day, but join much more quickly than has been historical practice,” he told a press briefing.
Coming on the sidelines of a nuclear summit in Washington DC, the announcement also stated a commitment to clinch agreements to phase down super-warming gases and on aviation emissions.
A US-China deal struck in September 2014 is credited with igniting momentum on climate change in the build-up to Paris. China committed to peak its emissions “around 2030”, while the US pledged a 26-28% cut by 2025 compared with 2005 levels.
Deese dismissed concerns that the stalled nature of the US’ flagship climate policy, the clean power plan, would erode trust in its ability to meet its commitments.
And with a slew of climate records broken in recent months, outgoing US climate envoy Todd Stern said speed was now essential. “Paris gives us a chance, it puts us on the right path … There’s no time to lose,” he said.
Liz Gallagher, head of climate diplomacy at UK advocacy group E3G said the relationship was instrumental in securing a strong outcome in Paris.
“It’s fantastic that this relationship is continuing. They won’t be the first off the starting blocks, as Fiji, Palau and the Marshall Islands are off,” she said.
“But China and the US are certainly the biggest and it really gets us over the first hurdle, we now need others to limber up and come on in.”
Alden Meyer, director of policy and strategy at the US Union for Concerned Scientists said: “Their joint commitment to join the Paris agreement ‘as early as possible this year’ sends a strong signal to other countries, as does the mention of continuing efforts by both countries to steer investment flows away from carbon-intensive technologies like coal.
“Given China’s current leadership role in the G20, the call for “strong climate and clean energy outcomes” at the Hangzhou summit in September is also significant, though much work remains to be done to achieve those outcomes.”
Greenpeace China climate policy analyst Li Shuo welcomed the countries’ cooperation on efforts to regulate aviation emissions ahead of a crunch meeting in Montreal in September.
“Challenging questions in the Montreal process, ICAO’s effort to regulate emissions from international aviation, and the G20 can not be unlocked without close cooperation between China and the US. We look forward to see this bilateral relationship contributing to these processes in the same way it helped to achieve the successful outcome of the Paris agreement.”