Over 170 countries agreed to sign a historic climate deal in Paris. Such a unified effort to lower carbon emissions has never occurred earlier, but it will require stronger initiative than mere diplomacy, caution environmentalists.
According to reports, 175 countries, including the United States, are signing the Paris agreement on climate change in New York today. The landmark deal took a huge and unprecedented leap ahead of schedule and could be enforced a lot sooner than hoped by environmentalists across the world. Within just four months of negotiations that took place in Paris, the global climate agreement was jointly agreed to at the United Nations.
— Times of India (@timesofindia) April 22, 2016
Although environment and development groups have praised the political will demonstrated by the high-level event, they cautiously add that the real work has yet to begin, reported KGMI. The important step is to start the implementation of the agreement from a long-term perspective instead of deploying many short-term or stop-gap solutions that do more harm than good.
The experts have warned the governments that they must act urgently and strictly follow through on the aspects of the climate deal. However, while meaningful action to significantly curb the rapid climate change is a must, people must not be penalized to protect the interest of the cash-rich enterprises.
— louis charbonneau (@lou_reuters) April 22, 2016
The signing ceremony was attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who held his young granddaughter while he represented the United States. The deal undoubtedly sets a record for international diplomacy. Never have so many countries signed an agreement on the first available day, reported WSFA. Moreover, many more countries are expected to lend their support to the Paris climate deal but have indicated that they need more time. Such states have another year to decide, but the need is now, stressed U.N. secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the assembled representatives.
“We are in a race against time. The era of consumption without consequences is over.”
French President Francois Hollande was the first to sign the agreement. However, quite a few countries have implied they aren’t ready to sign the climate deal. Needless to add, the majority of these countries include the world’s largest oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Nigeria, and Kazakhstan.
— Environment America (@EnvAm) April 22, 2016
China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon and one of the largest consumer of fossil fuels, announced it will “finalize domestic procedures” to ratify the Paris Agreement before the G-20 summit in China in September. The country was referring to the actual approval of the Paris climate deal through the implementation of procedures by the countries on their respective domestic fronts.
Several islands, which are increasingly being threatened by rising sea levels, confirmed they are ratifying the climate deal on the very same day the deal is being signed. With such urgency demonstrated by other countries, experts are hopeful the Paris climate deal could be enforced long before the original deadline of 2020. Many are confident about the actual impact of the agreement owing to the support of United States.
— Bloomberg TV (@BloombergTV) April 22, 2016
America has always been reluctant to abide by such climate deals and protocols in the past. But President Barack Obama has confirmed the United States intends to join the agreement this year. If Obama stays true to his promise and ratifies the Paris climate deal, he would make it very difficult for the country to back out when Obama’s successor takes office.
There’s no doubt the Earth is already heating up. After 2015 was recorded to be the hottest year, January 2016 was deemed the hottest month ever, followed by February and then March. Despite the Paris climate deal, the Earth is expected to get warmer by 2.7 to 3.5 degree Celsius, point out environmentalists.
— Demarcio Washington (@DemarcioWash) April 12, 2016
Fortunately, countries are increasingly turning towards renewable energy and slowly reducing their dependence on fossil fuels to curb carbon emissions. Will the Paris climate deal signed on Earth Day ensure the world continues on the path?
[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]