The announcement from the US and China that they will ratify the Paris Agreement has been strongly welcomed by Christian Aid.
Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Advisor, said:
“This marks the moment the two biggest economies throw their weight behind the Paris Agreement. It means the deal, agreed less than nine months ago, will now likely have the full force of law before the end of the year.
“This choreographed announcement shows that the US and China are still working together collaboratively to address climate change.
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It shows how far we’ve come from the days when they were both at the back of the class, dragging their heels.
The Paris Agreement will enter into force after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified it.
Mr Adow added:
“With the US and China’s announcement it is now highly likely that other countries will also join quickly and both thresholds will be crossed much earlier than anticipated.
“This will protect it from any future political shocks such as the election of Donald Trump this November.
“We now need the other countries to join in and ratify as soon as possible, including the UK. On Wednesday there will be a debate in the House of Commons at which the UK Government will have a chance to set out their timeline for ratification. If the UK intends to retain its climate leadership on the global stage it mustn’t show up late to the party.
“Ultimately tackling climate change will require more than just signing the Agreement. World leaders need to turn their Paris rhetoric into reality to speed up the transition to a low carbon world which is safe for everyone.”