Diverse Leaders Hail US and China Joining Paris Agreement

Today, President Obama stood together with the President of China to announce that both countries have formally joined the Paris Agreement to combat climate change.
Credit: Reuters

Today, President Obama stood together with the President of China to announce that both countries have formally joined the Paris Agreement to combat climate change. This historic announcement sends an undeniable message that the world's two largest economies and emitters are turning their climate change commitments into action. 

As my colleagues detail, today's announcement puts the Paris Agreement within reach of achieving full legal force by the end of this year - much quicker than the usual timeline for most international agreements, and a sign of the broad support the Paris Agreement enjoys across countries and stakeholders.


Leaders from diverse sectors were were quick to voice their support for the joint climate leadership demonstrated by the U.S. and China. The following are a sampling of the supportive statements that have been issued in the first few hours since the historic announcement:

“By ratifying the Paris climate agreement today, the U.S. and China are demonstrating that the world's two largest economies will help lead the fight against climate change - but it's imperative that more nations join them. Cities are united in this effort, but to succeed, nations must be too - and I urge local leaders to continue pushing their national governments to ratify the Paris agreement in the months ahead.”

Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities & Climate Change and the former mayor of New York City

“Today’s action sends a powerful signal to the markets that the shift to a low-carbon, clean energy economy is now accelerating. The rest of the world’s countries should take notice." 

- Mindy Lubber, President of Ceres (an organization mobilizing investor and business leadership for a sustainable world)

"Today, the United States and China took a bold step forward by formally joining the Paris Agreement, demonstrating leadership on climate action and answering the call of megacity mayors around the world […] Mayors pledge to be allies to their national leaders in facing climate change, the greatest political, economic and environmental challenge of our time.” 

Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change)

“I am proud to congratulate President Obama, President Xi Jinping, and other world leaders on the ratification of the Paris Agreement.  This is a critical step in the global effort to combat climate change and protect our world from the devastating impacts that will otherwise impact its most vulnerable people.  In the months since COP21, I am excited to report that Oakland has been active in pursuing the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement, including signing the Pacific North America Climate Leadership Agreement and integrating climate change throughout the City’s Resilience Strategy.  These efforts, among many others in Oakland and beyond, are demonstrating that we are up to the challenge of climate change, and will succeed in protecting our planet for generations to come." 

- Honorable Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, California

“Partnership is the new leadership. The U.S. and China have just shown that the new world order is one that works together on challenges – and no issue is more pressing than climate change. Congratulations to President Obama and President Xi Jinping. We are excited to build on these efforts with our increasing suite of solutions to help accelerate a low carbon built environment around the world.” 

- Mahesh Ramanujan, Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Green Building Council (an organization transforming the way buildings are designed, constructed, and operated)


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