Top UN climate official thanks US, China

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HANGZHOU, China (AP) The United Nations’ top climate official is thanking the United States and China for ratifying the global climate agreement reached in Paris.
Patricia Espinosa said in a statement Saturday that the accord offers an “opportunity for a sustainable future for every nation and every person.” She added: “The earlier that Paris is ratified and implemented in full, the more secure that future will become.”
The agreement will take effect 30 days after the date when 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions have formally joined it. The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change says the U.S. and China joining up brings the total so far to just over 39 percent.
Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. and China “demonstrated their continued, shared commitment to climate leadership” by formally joining the landmark climate agreement reached last year in Paris.
Kerry said in a statement that when the U.S. and China “come together to take action on climate, it moves the needle in a way that no two other nations can accomplish.”
He added, however, that “it is essential for the Paris Agreement to enter into force as quickly as possible.”
The agreement reached last year will go into effect if ratified by at least 55 countries representing 55 percent of the world’s man-made emissions. Together, China and the United States represent 38 percent of the world’s total.
Earlier Saturday, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping presented documents formally entering their countries into the climate agreement. China and the United States are the world’s top two producers of man-made carbon emissions.
Chinese President Xi Jinping says the Group of 20’s meetings should be transformed into a mechanism that delivers long-term guidance on the global economy, rather than one that just responds to crises.
Xi said in a speech Saturday that the G-20 was at a “crucial juncture,” one day before its summit opens in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.
The G-20 held its first leaders’ summit during the 2008 economic crisis and now convenes annually with representatives from a mix of industrialized and developing economies.
China’s hosting of the two-day summit is seen as part of its drive to cement its place among global economic leaders. In his speech Saturday, Xi said China would cut steel and coal production to reduce excess capacity and “sustain long-term development.”
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping are discussing a range of issues on which they agree and disagree.
Their face-to-face talks follow the announcement by both leaders that their countries have formally joined the landmark climate agreement reached last year in Paris.
Obama said that their discussions Saturday would cover the breadth of the U.S.-China relationship, including cooperation on security matters, the Korean Peninsula and the fight against the Islamic State group.
But Obama said they also would have a candid discussion about differences, including on human rights, cybersecurity and maritime issues.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is calling on other nations gathering for the Group of 20 summit to follow China’s lead and ratify the Paris climate agreement.
Xi presented documents formally entering China into the agreement Saturday, along with U.S. President Barack Obama. China and the United States are the world’s top two producers of man-made carbon emissions.
Xi said other G-20 members should “take a leading role” and enter the agreement before the end of the year.
The agreement reached last year will go into effect if ratified by at least 55 countries representing 55 percent of the world’s man-made emissions. Together, China and the United States represent 38 percent of the world’s total.
The G-20 summit opens Sunday in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.
President Barack Obama says a decision by the U.S. and China to formally join a landmark climate agreement may be seen as “the moment that we finally decided to save our planet.”
Obama says there was “no shortage” of cynics who doubted an agreement would ever be reached.
But he says leadership by the U.S. and China has been one of the biggest drivers of action on the issue, which Obama has highlighted during his presidency.
Many more countries must formally join the agreement for it to take effect.
Obama spoke Saturday after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Chinese coastal city of Hangzhou. He called for full implementation of the agreement to prevent or delay the worst effects of climate change.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says he’s optimistic the Paris climate agreement will go into effect now that China and the United States have signed on.
Ban accepted documents Saturday from President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping that formally entered their countries into the pact.
China and the U.S. produce 38 percent of the world’s man-made carbon dioxide emissions. The agreement needs the participation of 55 countries to go into effect, representing 55 percent of the world’s emissions.
Speaking in Hangzhou, site of the Group of 20 summit that begins Sunday, Ban said he was hopeful enough countries would join the pact by the end of the year.
He credited China and the U.S. for “working together to achieve a result that none could achieve alone.”
The United States and China have formally joined the sweeping global climate change agreement reached in Paris last year.
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered documents to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon entering their countries into the pact during a ceremony Saturday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 major economies summit in Hangzhou, China. The document certifies that the countries have taken all necessary domestic steps needed to join the agreement.
Obama says the United States is committed to being a global leader in the fight against climate change. He says the Paris Agreement may be remember as “the moment we finally decided to save our planet.”
Xi called the agreement a milestone that marks the “emergence of a global government system” for climate change.
The agreement will come into force after a critical mass of polluting countries has joined. The U.S. says it’s hopeful that will happen this year.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she hopes to discuss Ukraine, Syria and refugee issues in bilateral talks on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.
Merkel said in her weekly video message Saturday that she expects “a very lively discussion” at the summit in China, but that the meeting can’t, for example, resolve Syria’s civil war — “it can only be a contribution to talks on the sidelines helping in this.”
She says she also hopes for discussions on “how things go forward in Ukraine” and “how things go forward on the issue of flight and migration.”
Merkel didn’t specify who she will hold talks with, though she has said that a four-way meeting with the Turkish, French and Italian leaders is planned.
Germany will host next year’s G-20 summit.
As welcome ceremonies go, President Barack Obama’s arrival in Hangzhou won’t be remembered as the warmest.
The routine red-carpet greeting took a confrontational turn on Saturday when a Chinese official tried to shoo reporters and even some top White House staff away from the president.
As Obama shook hands with a group of dignitaries on the tarmac, the official yelled at the White House reporters to get back.
Even National Security Adviser Susan Rice and her deputy, Ben Rhodes, were briefly caught up in the dustup, as the official tried to keep them away, too.
When a White House official told the man the press were allowed to record Obama’s arrival, the Chinese official yelled: “This is our country! This is our airport!”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has described his country’s relationship with the United States as “frozen.”
Putin spoke Saturday during a meeting with the leaders of Japan and South Korea at a forum in Russia, one day before the Group of 20 summit opens in neighboring China.
Russia and the U.S. are both entangled in the Syrian civil war and are negotiating a deal for cooperation, though Russia has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad who U.S. officials say should be removed from power.
U.S. authorities have also linked cyberattacks on the Democratic Party to Russian-backed hackers. Putin has denied sanctioning any attacks.
Putin and President Barack Obama do not have a meeting scheduled, but they are expected to meet on the summit’s sidelines. Obama arrived in China Saturday.
President Barack Obama has arrived in China for talks on climate change and global economic growth.
It is expected to be Obama’s last trip to Asia as president.
Air Force One landed in the eastern city of Hangzhou Saturday afternoon.
The president plans to use the trip to highlight his work on climate change. He is due to speak on the subject later Saturday before meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping. The leaders are expected to announce their countries are formally taking part in the Paris agreement to cut carbon emissions.
China is hosting the Group of 20 summit of industrialized and emerging economies.
While greeting Italy’s prime minister, Chinese President Xi Jinping has offered condolences for the earthquake that killed nearly 300 people.
Xi and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi met Saturday after Renzi’s arrival in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou for the Group of 20 summit.
Xi said China had seen the devastating effects of earthquakes first-hand and that he hoped Italy would be able to rebuild.
The Aug. 24 quake leveled three towns in central Italy and left some 4,000 people homeless. Many people have been staying in tent camps.
Renzi and other world leaders arrived Saturday in advance of a two-day meeting of industrial and emerging-market nations.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says terrorism is a long-term issue for discussion by members of the Group of 20 nations gathering in China for a summit starting Sunday.
Erdogan arrived Saturday in the coastal city of Hangzhou and was greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping. His trip comes after he defeated an attempted coup by military officers July 15.
Erdogan did not directly address the failed coup, saying that he welcomed the summit’s focus on investment and innovation.
China is Turkey’s third-largest trading partner, though the two countries have clashed over China’s handling of Uighur minorities who share cultural ties with Turkey.
Erdogan will also meet with President Barack Obama before the summit begins.
World leaders from 20 industrial and emerging-market nations are arriving in the southern Chinese city of Hangzhou for a summit starting Sunday.
Among the latest arrivals Saturday morning are Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has already visited Beijing and Shanghai on a state visit, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
They join heads of state who arrived a day earlier, including Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma — the only African member of the G-20. Argentine President Mauricio Macri and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also arrived in Hangzhou.
President Barack Obama is expected to meet later Saturday with his Chinese host, President Xi Jinping. Ahead of the talks, China announced on Saturday that it has ratified the emissions-cutting agreement reached last year in Paris, giving a big boost to efforts to bring the accord into effect by the end of this year.
The United States is also expected to announce that it is formally joining the Paris Agreement.

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