China has announced it will formally ratify the Paris climate change agreement, paving the way for a hotly anticipated joint US-China statement on the fight against global warming later today.
In a brief dispatch on Saturday morning, China’s official news agency, Xinhua, said members of the country’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress, had voted “to review and ratify” the historic deal.
The announcement comes as Xi Jinping and Barack Obama are expected to meet in China ahead of the start of the G20 on Sunday to make a joint statement on climate change.
Activists believe the centrepiece of that statement, which Chinese and American officials have spent weeks negotiating, will be a formal commitment by both countries to ratify the deal.
The Paris agreement, sealed last December after two weeks of intense negotiations, needs to be ratified by 55 countries, representing 55% of global emissions, in order to come into effect.
“China and the US together account for about 38% of global emissions. So if they ratify the agreement it will bring the Paris agreement entering into force much closer to reality,” said Li Shuo, the Beijing-based senior climate policy adviser for Greenpeace East Asia.
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