“The United States is back at the table leading the fight against climate change,” Biden said in a statement after approval. “As more countries join the United States in ratifying this amendment, we can prevent up to half a degree Celsius of warming this century, a significant contribution to fighting climate change and protecting communities from more extreme impacts.”
Earth’s temperature has risen more than 1.2 degrees Celsius since the Industrial Revolution, according to NASA, close to the 1.5-degree tipping point of warming at which climate scientists say climate damage increases exponentially.
Treatment of China
Sullivan and Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and John Barrasso, R-Wyo., criticized the treaty before passage over its definition of China, which has agreed to Kigali, as a “developing” nation, a category that gives countries more time to comply with the treaty obligations.
“It gives China special treatment,” Barrasso said of the treaty. If the U.S. wanted to do more on HFCs, it could rewrite the law Trump signed, Barrasso said. “It’s a façade. China is not a developing country,” Sullivan said.
China, the No. 2 economy in the world and the current greatest emitter of greenhouse gases of any nation, is far from an emerging economy, Sullivan said.
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