US, China ratify Paris agreement on Climate Change

The United States (US) and China have ratified the 2015 Paris agreement on Climate Change to cut global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Both countries are world’s two biggest GHG emitters, collectively accounting for 38% of global emissions. China alone accounts for 20% of GHG emissions.

Key Facts

  • Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of China and US will deliver 51% of avoided cumulative GHG emissions from 2016-2100 from all of INDCs in Paris Agreement.
  • Of this, US will deliver 19%, and China, 31% of the avoided cumulative GHG emissions from 2016-2100.
  • If both countries kept their pledges mentioned in the INDCs, 1050 giga tons (billion tons) of GHG would be kept out of the atmosphere.

Comment

This marks a major step toward the enactment of the pact making way for other countries to follow suit. Both the US and China being formal Parties world has a global climate agreement that signals a new era in global efforts to address climate change.

Paris Agreement on Climate Change

  • The agreement was adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that had attended the COP 21 in Paris (France) in December 2015.
  • It will come into force after it is ratified by at least 55 countries that account for 55% of global GHG emissions. India accounts for around 4.5% of the global emissions.
  • The pact asks both rich and poor countries to take action to reduce the rise in global temperatures due to global warming that is melting glaciers, raising sea levels and shifting rainfall patterns.
  • It requires governments to present national plans to reduce emissions to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius (36.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

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Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2018International Current Affairs 2018

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