Two of the biggest polluters officially commit to Paris Agreement

Saturday September 3rd 2016 was a very important day for the future of our climate. On the evening of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, the presidents of the two biggest greenhouse gas (GHG) polluters: the United States and China, ratified the Paris Agreement. This is a milestone for international climate policy, and a huge step towards protecting our environment and humans from the most devastating impacts of climate change. 

If the Paris Agreement enters into force this year as expected, all nations will be required to cut their national emissions in accordance to their “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDC).1  This will happen when nations making up at least 55% of global GHG emissions, and 55% of the global population have ratified. With the US and China responsible for 38% of global emissions, we are closer than ever to reaching the required threshold.

Pressure is growing on the EU (as one of the top emitters), to ratify the Paris Agreement immediately. The EU and its 28 member states make up 12% of total global emissions, and the EU’s national determined contribution (NDC) calls for a 40% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030, compared to 1990. In order for countries to start working towards this target, the Paris Agreement must be ratified by the EU and also by each Member State (MS) separately. Once this happens, each MS must implement according to national processes.

(Read more about how the EU’s ratification process works on Carbon Brief)

Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe calls on the EU to commit to its promise to lead by example, and join the US and China in ratifying the Paris Agreement before the end of the year. The EU has an opportunity to set a high standard for nations that hold the fate of our climate within their policy decisions.


The Paris Agreement & the European Health Sector

The Paris treaty provides a structure for global climate action, the actions and ambitions outlined in the agreement now need urgent implementation. While the Agreement is a historic international achievement, it is merely the beginning of a difficult and challenging road that lies ahead.

It is on this basis that we call on the European healthcare sector to step up to their efforts in combating climate change and reduce their environmental footprint. HCWH Europe is committed to aiding the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to go beyond the current ambition; by guiding the healthcare sector in Europe to reduce it’s climate footprint and shift towards a renewable energy future.


Preview image: Moyan Breen via Flickr cc

Read More:

Paris Agreement Tracker – World Resource Institute

Reducing the Climate Footprint: The EU’s legislative framework and the health sector

Paris Agreement next steps – Ratification 

HCWH Climate & Energy News



(1) INDC: national emissions reduction targets set under the scope of the Paris Agreement