US And China Ratify Paris Climate Deal In "Moment We Decided To Save Our Planet"

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during their meeting in Hangzhou on September 3, the day they formally joined the Paris agreement. How Hwee Young/AFP/Getty Images

Although everyone needs to act, it’s clear that without the help of China and the US, the Paris agreement would fail. Unfortunately, as a recent study revealed, this doctrine simply doesn’t go far enough. Even with the support of all 195 signatories, the entire carbon budget for keeping to the 2°C (3.6°F) may be emitted as soon as 2030, 70 years ahead of schedule.

The 1.5°C (2.7°F) limit requested by many low-income nations, particularly those vulnerable to sea level rise, may be impossible to achieve in just five years, according to NASA. The most likely scenario is that global temperatures will actually rise by 2.6°C to 3.1°C (4.7°F to 5.6°F) by 2100 – a devastating future, then, awaits.

Strong action needs to be taken, and it’s certainly possible to stick to the 2°C limit. Evidence shows that the adoption of nuclear power and renewables, along with eschewing fossil fuels, could dramatically militate against climate change, particularly in Europe, the US, and even China. So although the Paris agreement is a good start, it needs to be strengthened and added to over time.

In fact, the greatest threat to it right now is the current Republican nominee in the race for the White House. If the anti-science, climate denialist Trump is elected, the agreement will be vetoed by the US, and all hope of saving the world from a scorched future will disappear.

Wildfires will become far more common if nothing's done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. macknimal/Shutterstock

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