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The US and China have jointly announced their ratification of the Paris Agreement.

The two countries submitted their instruments of ratification on the eve of the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou, nine months after the Paris Agreement was drawn up.

This gives the climate deal a major boost, making early entry into force more likely. It is possible this might happen before or during the COP22 conference to be held in Marrakech in November. It was not expected for this to happen so quickly.

Ratification from the world’s two biggest emitters supports the ‘early ratification club’. This group of nations was set-up up by the Marshall Islands which was one of the first parties to ratify and who have been calling for early ratification from all countries. Since this call 26 countries have now ratified, representing 39% of global emissions.

For entry-into-force of the Paris Agreement to happen 55 countries representing 55% of global emissions are needed to ratify. China and the US formed a major chunk of an influential projection by the Marshall Islands of how entry-into-force could look.

Farhana Yamin, CEO of Track 0, explained the significance of the US/Chinese joint approval of the Paris Agreement on Channel 4 news.

“I think they’re realising that the domestic air quality and health issues for China are largely aligned with the climate agenda, so I think it’s bringing home this central point that climate action gives you cleaner air and makes the best use of natural resources; and the finance is now aligning so it’s a good sign”.

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