President Xi and President Obama today announced a new U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change. The statement includes new announcements that China will launch an emissions trading system in 2017 and make $3.1 billion of funds available for climate finance. It includes additional actions the U.S. administration will take to implement the Clean Power Plan. This builds on last year’s historic announcement setting new emissions targets for the two countries.

Following is a statement by Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute:

“Presidents Obama and Xi are demonstrating courageous leadership on climate change. Both countries are moving forward with on-the-ground action to hasten the transition to a low-carbon economy. They’re also laying the cornerstone for an ambitious climate agreement in Paris.

“China has repeatedly shown that it’s serious about reining in its emissions. By committing at the highest level to a national carbon trading program, China is making its intentions clear to businesses and investors about its shift to a low-carbon economy.

“In the U.S., new actions under the Clean Power Plan should build confidence that the country will achieve its climate goals. The joint U.S.-China collaboration on increasing efficiency in key sectors is an important and welcome part of this package.

“These two major countries have found common ground on the three most critical elements of a strong agreement in Paris: a long-term goal for the transition to a low-carbon economy this century, creation of a process that builds greater ambition over time, and a transparent system that will instill confidence that countries will follow-through on their commitments.

“China’s climate finance pledge is a watershed moment, elevating China to a new level on this issue. These new funding streams should reassure developing countries that climate finance will be available from a broader pool of contributors. China’s commitment to limit its domestic and international investments in carbon-intensive activities, which parallels U.S. policy, sends a strong directional signal to investors around the world.

“The prospects for a global climate agreement have brightened. Combined with inspirational messages this week from the pope, businesses and governments, we’re edging closer to a strong outcome in Paris this year.”