President Barack Obama bids farewell to President Xi Jinping of China at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., April 1, 2016.

© Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

4/8/2016 2:52:52 PM

Good News Friday {US and China to Sign Paris Agreement}

Earth Day, April 22nd, is quickly approaching. While every day should be Earth Day, it's this date that we are especially aware of our role as stewards of the planet.

U.S. President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China announced the U.S. and China will sign the Paris agreement on climate change on April 22.

The U.S. and China also said they would "take their respective domestic steps in order to join the Agreement as early as possible this year" and called on other countries to do the same, "with a view to bringing the Paris Agreement into force as early as possible."

"Our two countries, with this joint statement, are making an important step forward in building on the success of Paris by urging and encouraging swift entry into force of that agreement," said Brian Deese, senior adviser to the President, on a press call.

The good news doesn't end there. Studies show that economies can benefit from lowering emissions.

The New York Times reported, "a study by the International Energy Agency found that in 2014, as global G.D.P. grew, global carbon emissions leveled off. Economists got excited, but they also acknowledged that it could have been an anomalous blip.

"But a study released by the International Energy Agency last month found that the trend continued in 2015. In another study published on Tuesday, Nathaniel Aden, a research fellow at the World Resources Institute, a Washington think tank, found that since the start of the 21st century, 21 countries, including the United States, have already fully decoupled their economic growth from carbon emissions. In those countries, while G.D.P. went up over the past 15 years, carbon pollution went down."

The Paris Agreement compels almost every country to reduce carbon emissions. That is a lot more palatable when we know that their economies can benefit, too.

Read More

The Washington Post, As the planet flashes warning signs, U.S. and China pledge hasty signing of climate accord

The New York Times, Can Economies Rise as Emissions Fall? The Evidence Says Yes

More Good News

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