Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
September 3, 2016
On the United States and China formally adopting the Paris Agreement on climate change:
It’s remarkable that in a few short years the world’s two leading climate antagonists have become the world’s two leading climate champions. The United States can no longer claim that China’s inaction is an excuse to do nothing, and vice versa. With both again committing themselves to a low-carbon future, the two countries are setting an example the rest of the world can hardly ignore.
The Paris Agreement not only commits all countries to do their best to combat climate change, but provides us the tools to hold them accountable. Stronger transparency rules will make clear whether countries are keeping their promises and contributing their fair share to the global effort. And, by requiring countries to update their contributions every five years, the agreement will work to strengthen ambition over time.
As national governments take the steps necessary to bring the agreement into force and to implement their commitments, it’s clear that the Paris signal is also resounding with other leaders who are critical to achieving its promise. Mayors, governors, CEOs and investors are all taking steps to cut emissions and expand clean energy. The more deeply the Paris goals are embedded in real-world decision-making, the better they will withstand shifting political and economic currents, and the better our prospects for a low-carbon future.
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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advancing strong policy and action to address climate change. Learn more at www.c2es.org.