WASHINGTON (September 3, 2016)— President Obama and President Xi jointly announced that the United States and China have joined the Paris Agreement on climate change, just before world leaders meet at the G20 Summit in China. The two countries announced additional areas of cooperation around the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs, carbon emissions from aviation, and domestic climate action. With the addition of the U.S. and China, 26 countries have now joined the Paris Agreement, covering nearly 40 percent of global emissions. The Agreement will enter into force after 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions formally join.

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

“Cooperation between the U.S. and China on climate change, once unimaginable, now stands as the brightest spot in their relationship. In joining the Paris Agreement in tandem, these two leaders have reconfirmed their responsibility to lead by example. The two countries are also united in pushing for progress on multiple fronts, including around HFCs and aviation emissions, that will enable even greater leaps forward. Coming just before the G20 summit in China, these announcements reflect that smart climate action goes hand-in-hand with future economic stability and growth. Their actions open the way for an enduring legacy on climate change that will leave the world better for today’s children and future generations.

“The United States and China are raising the bar for domestic climate action and international cooperation. The history books will note that these leaders significantly advanced the baton as the Paris Agreement shifts from commitments on paper to action on the ground.”

For more information, see WRI's Paris Agreement Tracker.