At least 165 countries—three times the number required for ratification, and over 85% of the entire United Nations—are signing the historic Paris climate change agreement today at a special ceremony in New York initiated by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. All 196 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change acclaimed the Paris Agreement at the UN’s COP21 summit last December.
Here’s how the UN describes the world’s mission regarding climate:
“In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius. Implementation of the Paris Agreement is essential for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and provides a roadmap for climate actions that will reduce emissions and build climate resilience.”
The official signing ceremony at UN headquarters in New York propels the entire world toward immediate and concerted action on climate change issues, mitigation, and adaptation. Today is the first day that the Agreement opens for signatures. All the world’s premier economies and largest greenhouse gas emitters have indicated that they will participate. The US, China, and India were among the first to indicate they would sign immediately. Precedent for same-day international signing was set in 1982, when 119 countries signed the Law of the Sea Convention at once.
Experts concede that the individual commitments so far pledged by nations cannot slow climate change enough to assure the continuance of human existence as we know it. More significant progress is needed. However, with this agreement, scientists currently see the world as now on track to keep the temperature increase below 2.7 degrees. Today’s near-unanimous events mark a promising first start.
After the signing, countries will formally ratify the climate change agreement. This process starts with a historic gesture by thirteen nations. Most of these are developing states on small islands, at greatest immediate risk from climate changes in the form of sea level rise, which is already occurring. Many lie only 10 feet or less from the current surface of the oceans. These nations will present their official ratifications immediately following the signing today.
CleanTechnica has brought you extensive coverage of anthropogenic climate change events in the past. Stay with us. We will continue to keep you informed as developments unfold.
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