175 nations sign landmark Paris deal on climate change

 

The historic agreement on climate change reached a major milestone with a record 175 countries, including India, signing on to it. However, world leaders made clear that more action is needed, and quickly, to fight a relentless rise in global temperatures. “We are in a race against time,” UN secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said addressing the gathering. “The era of consumption without consequences is over.” Many policy analysts expect the climate agreement to enter into force long before the original deadline of 2020. Experts say it could happen this year. After signing, countries must formally approve the Paris Agreement through their domestic procedures.

India’s Environment minister Prakash Javadekar signed the agreement in the UN General Assembly hall at a high-level ceremony hosted by Mr Ban. The ceremony was attended by heads of government, ministers, corporate leaders and artists.

US Secretary of State Kerry said that the signing of the agreement had to be followed by a recommitment by world leaders to actually win the ‘war’ against carbon emissions that are making the world hotter every year. French President Francois Hollande said he would ask parliament to ratify it by this summer. “There is no turning back now,” Mr. Hollande told the gathering, adding that a key to success in combating climate change will be to get governments, companies, and people all over the world to work together to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

China’s climate envoy, Xie Zhenhua, said his government hopes the US will join the climate agreement “as soon as possible.” The US put the agreement into economic terms. “The power of this agreement is what it is going to do to unleash the private sector,” Mr Kerry said.

The climate agreement marked a significant step that has brought together developing and developed nations for beginning work on cutting down greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming.

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