Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Obama and Xi Announce Joint Signing of Paris Climate Agreement

Source: NBC News
On Thursday March 31st, President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China announced they will be formally joining the Paris Climate agreements in April 2016. On April 22nd, they will be joint signing this at a special ceremony in the United Nations headquarters. This is the first day that the plan is able to accept signatures from world leaders. The Paris Climate agreements that were drafted in the last United Nations Paris negotiations when over 200 countries agreed to end the fossil fuel era. The United States and China are two of the biggest carbon polluters.

Obama's decision to committing the United States to the UN agreement means lots of domestic change will need to happen and be promised by this election year's candidates. For candidates, it is no longer a question on whether climate change and carbon emissions will be addressed in their potential term but a question of how they will be following this agreement. Although the agreement does state it will apply until year 2020 and until 55 countries and 55% of global carbon emissions joins, with two leading nations joining, it is possible the agreement will in fact take place. This will most definitely affect the next president if they do decide to run for a second term because how they address domestic carbon emissions from 2016-2020 will set up their platform for the 2020 election year.

Even with this in mind, Obama's current domestic greenhouse gas emissions policy is still facing lots of pushback. His hope to cut emissions by 26%-28% in a span of 20 years still awaits resolution with more than half the states and many corporations.

How do you feel about Obama promising to sign on to the Paris Climate agreements in the last months of his term?
How do you feel current candidates will have to adapt their policies with the current state of both the Paris Climate agreements and Obama's greenhouse gas emission proposals in mind?


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