On Saturday, President Barack Obama formally ratified the Paris Agreement for climate and environmental change during a ceremony in Hangzhou, China.
According to NBC, this event will be the cap of Obama’s climate activism and Asian foreign policy legacies. The main goal of the agreement is to get as many countries as possible to sign and promise to control their negative environmental output to keep climate change temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius. The Paris climate deal needs 55 countries’ signatures, to represent 55% of world emissions. Though with China—reported to represent 20% of world emissions—and the U.S.—contributing in second place with 18%—the two countries are already fairly close to that 55%. 20 other countries have already signed as well, making the total still short of what is needed, though the White House says that about 35 other countries have promised to sign as well.
White House Senior Advisor Brian Deese has said that “it is certainly a discussion we have” when it comes to speculation if the next president will honor the agreement. As it stands, the Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls having completely different views on the topic, according to USA Today, with Hillary Clinton stating that she believes global warming is an urgent concern, and Donald Trump not putting much stock in that it truly exists. While Obama has moved aggressively on the issue, it remains to be seen whether the next president will make it a priority.
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