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U.S. and China ratify Paris Agreement at start of the 2016 G20

Ratification can lead to a cleaner world by lowering emissions levels of greenhouse gases. Ratifying countries have until 2020 to meet new emissions standards.


The two largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world are the U.S. and China. In a historic move, both countries ratified the Paris Agreement to set the stage for the annual G20 summit. American President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping happily struck the climate deal despite recent military and political tension in the South China Sea. While the Paris Agreement was only written less than a year ago, it has tremendous implications for climate change. Ratification of the Paris Agreement serves as a country's promise to a United Nations committee to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by a certain amount by 2020. 

It is known that a country's economy and manufacturing sector are closely related to its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. China has become increasingly developed over the last century, leading to air pollution and climate change concerns. Fortunately, China has clear intentions to move toward a cleaner future for its citizens and the world. Prior to the G20 summit, the Chinese government released its own detailed greenhouse gas and carbon emissions reduction plan. The Chinese government has set these expectations for emissions reduction by 2030. 

As seen by the graph below, China been the world's large emitter of carbon-based pollutants since around 2004. Due to efforts in recent years, China has maintained roughly the same level of emissions since around 2010. This recent history sets the precedent for China's ratification of the G20 summit. China's government is pushing the public policy of 负责任大国 (fu zeren daguo) a great nation takes responsibility) when it concerns itself with climate change. It does so not only in the name of international pressure, but in order to protect its own citizens from environmental problems. 



"CO2 Time Series 1990-2014 per Region/country." EUROPA. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2016.

Li, Anthony H. F. "Hopes Of Limiting Global Warming? China And The Paris Agreement On Climate Change." China Perspectives 1 (2016): 49-54. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Sept. 2016.

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