Global Warming

175 nations sign the Paris Climate Agreement

Untitled175 governments declared an end to the fossil fuel era on Earth Day, April 22, signing the Paris Agreement, the first global commitment on climate change. Signers included the big emitters: the U.S., China, India, and Russia. World leaders were united in speaking of the urgency to act on climate change, calling for scaled up actions, and saying that political will was never stronger. Leaders also committed to rapid national processes to approve the agreement. However, while the landmark signing ceremony made history, global temperatures keep shattering records. As UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon explained, “We are in a race against time.” I was privileged to represent Fresh Energy for 17 days at the Paris Climate Summit that ended in an astonishing, unified commitment to deep carbon reductions at the scale of the problem. The Paris Agreement includes a commitment to keep global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It is vital that countries remain focused on this goal, and immediately increase their national efforts to achieve it, along with working to put the agreement into force. We were heartened on April 22 to hear over 170 countries intentions to move quickly to get the Paris Agreement in place. However, much more work needs to get done. Countries need to immediately scale up action domestically on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the financing of those solutions in order to avoid the very worst impacts of climate change. In states across the U.S. and in all countries, we must continue to insist on evidence of stronger ambition and action to address the climate change problem at scale. The Paris Agreement will remain open for signatures for one year. The agreement will enter into force only after 55 countries representing 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions ratify the agreement. International climate negotiators will meet in May in Bonn, Germany to start laying the groundwork for operationalizing the climate agreement.

Over 170 governments declared an end to the fossil fuel era on Earth Day, April 22, signing the Paris Agreement, the first global commitment on climate change. Signers included the big emitters: the U.S., China, India, and Russia. World leaders were united in speaking of the urgency to act on climate change, calling for scaled up actions, and saying that political will was never stronger. Leaders also committed to rapid national processes to approve the agreement. However, while the landmark signing ceremony made history, global temperatures keep shattering records. As UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon explained, “We are in a race against time.”

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