US, China Provide Continued Leadership on Climate Change, Urge Approval of Paris Agreement in 2016

Statement by Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy at UCS

Published Mar 31, 2016

WASHINGTON (March 31, 2016)—Today U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced their intention to lead by example on climate change by signing the Paris Agreement on April 22 and taking domestic action in their respective countries to formally join the agreement as early as possible this year. They urged other countries to do the same so the agreement can enter into force as soon as possible. They committed to working together to make progress on climate action in other fora as well, including at the summit of G-20 leaders that China will be chairing later this year.

Below is a statement from Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

"The statement by Presidents Obama and Xi represents another positive contribution from the U.S. and China to making progress on climate change together. Their joint commitment to ensure the Paris Agreement enters into force 'as early as possible this year' sends a strong signal to other countries. So does their mention of both countries continuing their efforts to steer investment flows away from carbon-intensive technologies like coal and toward renewable energy alternatives.

"Given China's current leadership role in the G-20, the call for 'strong climate and clean energy outcomes' at the Hangzhou summit in September is particularly significant, though much work remains to be done to achieve positive outcomes at that meeting."