BEIJING-China sent a strong message about its commitment to the battle against global climate change by ratifying the Paris Agreement earlier this month, experts said, reported Xinhua.

China and the United States formally joined the Paris climate pact on Sept. 3, one day ahead of the G20 summit held in the eastern Chinese lake side city of Hangzhou.

The deal marks a turning point in the united efforts to address global warming.

“China seems to be setting an example by implementing steps to limit global warming,” Douglas H. Paal, director of the Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told Xinhua.

“It is smart for China to use the G20 Summit to try to engender a bandwagon effect among the participating countries,” he said.

China, the world’s second largest economy and a major emitter of greenhouse gases, signed the Paris Agreement at UN Headquarters in New York on April 22, which is also Earth Day.

Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, acting for President Xi Jinping, signed the document and announced that China would ratify the pact before the G20 summit in Hangzhou.

To fulfill its commitments, China will have to cut carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, increase non-fossil fuel sources in primary energy consumption to about 20 percent, and peak its carbon emissions by 2030. These targets are reflected in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).

Many agree that China’s ratification of the Paris Agreement ahead of the G20 summit, as wells as the summit’s outcomes, will also strengthen China’s leadership in the area.

Moreover, concrete actions by major powers, like China, will increase expectations for an early initiation of the pact, ahead of its original deadline of 2020.

“I think the Paris Agreement will enter into force very, very soon,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Just a few months ago, the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement seemed unachievable.

The Paris deal, aiming to reverse the trend of temperature rises mainly caused by carbon emissions, was sealed by negotiators of 196 parties to the UN conference on climate change on Dec. 12, 2015, after a hard and lengthy bargaining process.

It will enter into force once 55 nations, making up 55 percent of global emissions, ratify the pact.

The joint announcement by President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Barack Obama of their nations’s commitment to the Paris deal could be a game changer, and sets the stage for other countries to follow suit.

The world’s two largest economies, China and the United States, together account for 39 percent of global emissions.

In a Leaders’ Communique issued after G20 summit, the remaining G20 members agree to join the agreement as soon as possible.

“We commit to complete our respective domestic procedures in order to join the Paris Agreement as soon as our national procedures allow,” the communique read.

“We welcome those G20 members who joined the Agreement and efforts to enable the Paris Agreement to enter into force by the end of 2016 and look forward to its timely implementation with all its aspects,” it said.

Joanna Lewis of Georgetown University, meanwhile, called the G20 the “most powerful economic and political club in the world,” and China’s hosting of it offered a great opportunity to demonstrate its climate leadership.

“Climate change is the area in which China has shown perhaps the strongest international leadership. As China hosts the G20, we can expect energy and climate to be front and center,” Lewis said in a signed article.

“As the role of China in global multilateral financial institutions grows, there is room for it to help shape the use of public finance for green and low carbon investment and determine the rules for such investments around the world,” she said.