China on Saturday ratified the Paris agreement on climate change, state media reported, a key move by the world’s biggest polluter that brings the deal a major step closer to coming into force.
The National People’s Congress legislature voted to adopt “the proposal to review and ratify the Paris Agreement”, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The Paris pact calls for capping global warming at well below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and 1.5 C (2.7 F) if possible, compared with pre-industrial levels.
China is responsible for around 25 percent of global carbon emissions, with the US in second place on about 15 percent, making their efforts crucial in the fight against warming.
The Paris deal will come into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified it.
But while 175 countries have signed it, until Saturday only 23 had ratified it, including France and many island states threatened by rising sea levels but who only produce a tiny proportion of the world’s emissions.
The accord sets ambitious goals for capping global warming and funnelling trillions of dollars to poor countries facing an onslaught of climate damage, reports AFP.