【以下、Nikkei Asian Reviewからの引用】

September 3, 2016 11:00 pm JST

US, China agree to ratify Paris climate accord

U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping © AP

HANGZHOU, China -- The two countries that together account for approximately 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions have agreed to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change, both governments announced on Saturday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama submitted their acceptance of the agreement to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is also in China. "We have clearly shown our commitment to tackling global issues in cooperation with the U.S.," Xi said.

Nearly 200 countries came together back in December to hammer out the Paris Agreement during a U.N. conference on climate change. It is to take effect after at least 55 countries responsible for 55% of global emissions ratify it.

Without China or the U.S. on board, the agreement would essentially be meaningless.

Xi also called on other countries to push for ratification.

China championed the twin ratification as part of efforts to put environmental issues at the forefront of the debates during the Group of 20 summit, which China begins hosting Sunday. The environmental focus is seen pushing maritime territorial disputes that China is embroiled in off the table.

Signs of the tactic were evident in a speech Xi gave to business leaders before the G-20 summit; he focused on economic reforms China is undertaking, not touching upon political issues.

Maritime disputes were also not on the agenda of a meeting between Xi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, held on Friday.

Obama and Xi were holding bilateral talks on Saturday. "I know that we will have once again candid conversations about some of those differences: issues like human rights or cyber or maritime," Obama said to Xi at the outset of the meeting. Obama asked his Chinese counterpart to comply with a ruling by an international tribunal at The Hague that denied China's historical claims to most of the South China Sea.

Obama also asked his Chinese counterpart to play a more active role regarding North Korea's test-firing of missiles and conducting of nuclear experiments. "We're also setting the stage so that the next U.S. administration comes in with a relationship that is on a strong and productive footing," Obama said.

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