31 countries ratify Paris climate accord at UN
(VNF) - 31 more countries formally joined the Paris Agreement on climate change on September 21st at the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, greatly improving the pact’s chances becoming reality.
US Secretary of State John Kerry holds his granddaughter as he signs the Paris climate agreement. (Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
In addition to China and the U.S., the 31 states included Latin American heavyweights like Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Other countries include Bangladesh, Singapore, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.
But in order for the agreement to go into effect, the countries need to account for at least 55 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
“What seemed at one time impossible is now inevitable,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “I am confident by the time I leave office (on Dec. 31st), the Paris agreement will have entered into force.”
Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama — representing the top two emitting countries at a total of 40 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases — joined the agreement, hoping that other nations would follow.
French Environment Minister Segolene Royal said that she hoped the accord would take effect before the next UN-led climate conference due on November 7th in Marrakesh, Morocco.
At Wednesday’s ceremony, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said governments won’t achieve the needed changes, but rather the private sector and entrepreneurs who will come up with better battery storage and other ways to solve the huge problem.
The Paris Agreement on climate change was signed in December, 2015, in Paris, France. Helping it come into force requires the ratification of 55 counties, who emit 55 per cent of the whole world gas emissions. The deal aims to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels./.