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China ratifies Paris climate change pact

BEIJING – China ratified the Paris climate change accord yesterday, with the US expected to do so later in a joint stand against global warming by the world’s two biggest polluters.

The accord sets ambitious goals for capping global warming and funneling trillions of dollars to poor countries facing an onslaught of damage as a result of climate change.

It will come into effect 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified it.

China is responsible for around a quarter of the world’s emissions, with the US in second place on more than 15 percent, so their participation is crucial.

China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, voted to adopt “the proposal to review and ratify the Paris Agreement,” the official Xinhua news agency said.

US President Barack Obama is due to arrive in China later Saturday for a G20 summit in the eastern city of Hangzhou, and is expected to announce the formal joining of the accord with President Xi Jinping.

Campaigners welcomed the move.

“China and the US, the two largest developing and developed country economies and emitters, joining the Paris Agreement shows that the global community can come together to address the threat of climate change,” said Alvin Lin of the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Both countries are transforming their economies to grow through clean energy rather than fossil fuels, so their citizens can benefit from a cleaner environment and be competitive in the green economy,’’ he told AFP. (AFP)