China and the United States have ratified the Paris agreement to cut climate-warming emissions.
The world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases made the landmark announcement on Saturday as heads of state from the Group of 20 biggest economies, or G20, arrived for a summit in the city of Hangzhou, Reuters reports.
The announcement marks a major step toward the enactment of the pact as early as the end of the year and setting the stage for other countries to follow suit, the news agency said.
“Just as I believe the Paris agreement will ultimately prove to be a turning point for our planet, I believe that history will judge today’s efforts as pivotal,” US President Barack Obama said after he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping handed ratified documents to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
“We have a saying in America that you need to put your money where your mouth is. And when it comes to combating climate change, that’s what we’re doing. Both the United States and China, we’re leading by example.”
At a joint ceremony, Xi said it “speaks to the shared ambition and resolve of China and the United States in addressing global issues”.
French President Francois Hollande said it was an important step that would pave the way for the implementation of the Paris agreement at the end of the year.
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