BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and a senior Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement in response to the joint announcement by the United States and China of the countries’ simultaneous submission of their instruments of acceptance of the Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):
“I thank President Obama for his strong leadership which has resulted in this historic achievement. The continued cooperation between the U.S. and China on addressing climate change not only signifies how seriously our two nations take this existential threat to our planet, but also sends important signals to the rest of world that meaningful action to prevent the worst possible scenarios from climate change is possible when we work together. The U.S. and China emit approximately 38% of global greenhouse gas pollution, so our nations’ shared commitment to the success of the Paris is extremely significant because it represents a giant step towards bringing the Paris Agreement into force.
“As a lawmaker from a state that is exceedingly susceptible to rising sea levels and extreme weather, I can’t stress enough how important effective global cooperation and action to address climate change is needed. That is why I am committed to doing all I can to ensure the United States fulfills its obligations and serves as an example to every nation on Earth of what is possible when we put our science, leadership, and ingenuity to work on behalf of humanity. As Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee I will find opportunities to encourage foreign leaders to follow the U.S. example and urge the expedition of other nation’s efforts to join the Paris Agreement, because there is no time to waste.”
The Joint U.S.-China announcement was made by Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping ahead of the start of the G20 Summit taking place in Huangzhou, China next week. This action formally joins the U.S. and China to the Paris Agreement, the most significant international effort to address the global treat of climate change. Under President Obama’s leadership and with the strong support of Congressional Democrats, the United States rallied world leaders in support of the Paris Agreement last December.
More than 180 nations have signed the Paris Agreement, signaling a strong global commitment from parties to the Paris Agreement to meet the thresholds necessary for the Paris Agreement to take affect by the end of this year. Fifty-five nations representing more than fifty-five percent of global greenhouse gas emissions must formally submit their instruments of acceptance to the UNFCCC in order to bring the Paris Agreement into force. With the U.S. and China submitting their instruments of acceptance of the Paris Agreement, there are now 26 nations representing nearly 40% of global emissions that have formally joined the Paris Agreement.