Paris Climate Agreement Enters Into Force Four Years Early

United States, China and other countries commit to reducing emissions


Alyssa Ritterstein, Earthjustice, (202) 797-5243

Years before many thought possible, at least 73 countries that together account for at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions—including the United States and China—have formally joined the historic Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement commits countries to hold global temperature rise to “well below 2°C” above pre-industrial levels, and sets a goal of cutting net emissions to zero in the second half of the century. The agreement is expected to enter into force and become binding international law on/by November 4, 2016.

The following statement is from Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen:

“Today we are accelerating the transition to clean energy, and sending a powerful signal to business, investors and communities that fossil fuels are not our future. But we must do more and fast. Now that the Paris Agreement is in force, all nations, including the U.S., must double down on efforts to increase our ambition and reduce emissions further and faster. The future of vulnerable communities around the world, and all our children, rests on the successful and ambitious implementation of this landmark agreement. 

“At Earthjustice, we will continue our work to spur a rapid shift from fossil fuels to clean energy. The U.S. can provide global leadership by achieving and exceeding the Clean Power Plan’s mandates to curb carbon pollution from power plants, dramatically cutting methane pollution, and ramping up our investment in clean energy. Also, we will continue to push for robust transparency and accountability measures to help ensure that every country, including the U.S., honors its commitments. 

“The world is coming together in the face of a climate crisis that threatens us all. The fact that so many countries joined the agreement years before expected shows that world leaders recognize the urgency to act in the face of the climate threat, and that is a great cause for hope.”

President Obama White House signing
President Barack Obama signs H.R. 152, which provides fiscal year 2013 supplemental appropriations to respond to and recover from the severe damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Jan. 29, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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