China to ratify UN climate change deal by September

Beijing makes surprise announcement at New York signing ceremony as UN urges countries to speed global efforts


China will formally approve the Paris Agreement on climate change by September, boosting global hopes of tackling global warming.

Vice premier Zhang Gaoli said the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter would finalise domestic legal procedures ahead of the 2016 G20 meeting in Hangzhou.

The government was also aiming to ensure the country’s emissions peaked before a self-imposed deadline of 2030.

“We have asked other G20 members and will work with the rest of the international community to work for early accession and entry into force,” he said.

Live in New York: World leaders sign climate pact

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said the September deadline was “great news”.

55 countries covering 55% of global emissions are required to back the new UN deal for it to come into force. China is responsible for 20% of emissions.

Zhang listed a series of regulations and policies Beijing was rolling out to meet its goals, including a national carbon market in 2017, investment in forests and a network of “zero emission” projects”.

Concerns over chronic air pollution have forced the government to take a tougher line over coal plants and heavy industry.

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