China Signs Paris Agreement, Will Encourage Others to Join

This post originally appeared on the World Resources Institute’s live blog covering the Signing Ceremony of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. To follow the signing ceremony via WRI’s live blog, click here.

The signing of the landmark international climate change agreement reached in Paris in December is taking place today at the United Nations in New York. China is represented by Zhang Gaoli, Vice Premier of China, and Special Envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Zhang said that after China signs the Paris Agreement today, it will work hard to earnestly implement it. Zhang said China will finalize its internal process to join the agreement before it hosts the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in September 2016, and will encourage other G20 members to quickly join the agreement as well.

“The Paris Agreement is a milestone in the global response to climate change, our signing of this agreement further demonstrates our resolve and action to address the challenge,” Zhang said.

“China actively worked for the conclusion of the Paris Agreement,” Zhang said. President Xi Jinping attended the COP21 conference, and “China played a vital role in the negotiation process.”

Zhang highlighted the major points of China’s climate pledge as a part of the agreement, including its target to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, and make efforts to peak even earlier.

China’s newest Five-Year Plan aims to reduce the country’s carbon intensity of GDP by 18 percent in the next five years. China also plans to launch a national emissions trading market in 2017. It will put in a strict accountability system for environmental protection, Zhang said.

China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, but also the biggest investor in renewable energy. China invested $110 billion in clean energy in 2015, according to BNEF.

“Let’s work together to ensure climate security and green development” Zhang said.

Author Information:
World Resources Institute Live Blog, Signing Ceremony of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Follow the live blog here.

Photo Credit:
John Gillespie via Flickr
Creative Commons License