President Obama has ratified the Paris Climate Agreement despite vows from the senate to block the agreement via the power of the purse. Obama ratified the agreement on Saturday with Chinese President Xi Jinping after landing in Hangzhou, China. A White House spokesperson said the international agreement is not a treaty, but rather an executive decision, of which Obama has signed many since taking office.

China, which also signed the agreement today, gets a free pass because, as the largest carbon dioxide emitter, it won’t be required to make any cuts in its greenhouse gas emissions for another 15 years.

Meanwhile, the U.S. will be required to "cut its emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2025, with a goal of 28 percent," severely limiting its manufacturing prowess and raising prices on anything that is powered by fossil fuels.

China, however, won’t have to start making any cuts until 2030, long after Obama has left office. China can also withdraw from the accord at any time.

Remember when Donald Trump tweeted:

Seems that Trump was eerily prescient. Obama ratified the Paris Climate Agreement with a country that does not have to lower its greenhouse gases until 2030, giving it a huge advantage over the United States and manufacturing.

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Meanwhile, China continues to open a new coal plant every week and is building new factories to meet the growing demand for cheap, foreign-made goods and steel.

Will it work?

Whether other countries sign the accord remains to be seen, but as we noted previously, averting warming by 1.5 degrees won’t occur without a complete power shutdown of all greenhouse-emitting sources, which would send the world into the stone age.Currently, China, the United States, the EU, and India are the top greenhouse gas emitters.

The climate accord can only move forward if 55 nations representing at least 55 percent of global emissions ratify the agreement. Signing the accord is the first stage before ratification.

Tracking the accord’s progress

Now that the U.S. and China have signed and ratified the agreement, that means 39 percent of global emissions and 26 more countries are needed to make it official, according to CAIT Climate Data Explorer, which has also been tracking the accord’s progress.

Leading by example

"Just as I believe the Paris agreement will ultimately prove to be a turning point for our planet, I believe that history will judge today's efforts as pivotal," Obama said after ratifying the accord. "We have a saying in America that you need to put your money where your mouth is,” Obama added.

“And when it comes to combating climate change, that's what we're doing." Indeed, Obama has announced even more global warming regulations before he leaves office.

A blank check for China

Except China isn't leading by example. As critics have noted, the accord gives a “blank check" to China, allowing it to emit unlimited greenhouse gases and to pursue unrestricted economic growth until 2030. The U.S., however, will be the hardest hit by the accord. China is still considered a "developing country," which gives it unbridled ability to advance its own economy under U.N. rules.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are on different sides of the climate change fence. Trump has said that if it kills any jobs, he would reject it. He has also sworn to use an all-of-the-above energy strategy to make the U.S. energy independent. Clinton said she would make the accord even stronger, which means shutting down more fossil-fuel power plants, severely limiting fracking, and shuttering manufacturing facilities. She has also promised to "put a lot of coal miners out of business."

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