At the COP21 Paris Climate Conference in December 2015 195 countries agreed to adopt measures that would maintain the current increase in global temperature to <2°C. To reach a concensus from that many countries was a remarkable achievement, but to ensure the measures outlined in the agreement are implemented it had to be formally ratified by all the participating nations.
It was reported today on the BBC News website that the USA and China have now formally ratified the agreement:
And as these two nations alone are jointlly responsibly for 40% of anthropogenic carbon emissions this represents an extremely important landmark.
Despite all the smaller wrangles and prevarication by various participating governments I hope this sends a signal to normal people and commercial interests all over the world that most of the worlds major governments are taking climate change seriously. They may then respond accordingly and invest even more in renewable energy technology to reduce reliance on fossil fuels even further. I think this is the single most important achievement of Barack Obama’s presidency – just in the nick of time before his tenure in the White House comes to an end!