His agenda includes remarks on global warming and a meeting with host Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The stakes are high for China to pull off a trouble-free G20 summit of the world’s top economies, its highest profile event of the year, as it looks to cement its global standing and avoid acrimony over a long list of tensions with Washington.
China and the U.S. – responsible for around 40 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions – today jointly ratified the Paris climate change deal that aims to significantly reduce global emissions, giving hopes that the landmark accord may come into effect by the end of this year. So far, including China and the USA, 26 countries, accounting for nearly 40 percent of global emissions, have joined in.
The state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday that China’s legislature had voted to formally enter the agreement.
The accord requires the participation of at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive trade deal the White House calls a cornerstone of the policy, is stuck in Congress. Obama planned to use the trip to make the case for approval of the deal before he leaves office.
The United States, the second biggest emitter, is also set to ratify the agreement in a bid to put the deal into legal force before the end of the year. Obama is expected to meet briefly with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the summit to encourage him to quickly join the Paris deal, according to a source briefed by the administration.
China, which, along with the United States, is responsible for almost 40 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, has ratified the climate agreement finalized in Paris a year ago.
China is responsible for about 25% of global carbon emissions, with the USA in second place on about 15%, making their efforts crucial in the fight against warming.
“We must rely on reforms to maintain a medium- to high-speed economic growth rate. hanging back will lose opportunities”, Xi said. Fewer than half of the requisite 55 countries will have joined, but many have signaled they plan to do so this year.
Trump has been hostile to the deal, threatening to cancel it if he’s elected president in November. Since the deal is non-binding, however, he could still simply ignore the carbon reduction goals set by President Obama. Since it’s non-binding, though, the Senate wasn’t required to ratify the plan before the US could formally join it, meaning lawmakers have little recourse against the deal.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said that climate change concerns the well-being and future of humanity. The matter is expected to be on the agenda for Obama’s meeting with Xi, along with ongoing efforts to phase out hydrofluorocarbons, another greenhouse gas.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also praised the agreement.
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.