The Paris climate agreement reached last December could come into force as early as 2018, two years ahead of schedule, United Nations’ climate chief Christiana Figueres said Monday. Still, she believes the Paris deal is 10 years too late.
The agreement was initially expected to come into force in 2020. It required that it be signed and confirmed by at least 55 countries representing 55 percent of total emissions. Fiji was the first nation to ratify the Paris climate deal.
At least 130 nations are expected to meet in New York on April 22 to sign the landmark agreement, which means that the climate deal is likely to be finally reached well in advance of the initial deadline. The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea signed on December 10 by 119 countries holds the current record.
“We are two minutes to midnight on climate change. If you ask me, the Paris agreement is 10 years too late,” said the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Signing the paperwork would be the first step to extending those two minutes to midnight. The deal set the goal of keeping global temperature rise below 2 degree Celsius above preindustrial levels by switching to environmentally-friendly energy and low-carbon infrastructure.
Figueres remarked the importance of current quality investment today since it will determine the quality of life forever. She urged the global community to deal with climate change now instead of waiting to act on it tomorrow.
More carbon = more poverty
The milestone is to reach a status of zero emissions, which means no more greenhouse gases being produced to be absorbed by trees. Figueres warned that the poor would be the most affected if this goal remains unachieved since more carbon means increased poverty. She clarified that the only way to eradicate poverty was through net zero emissions.
The world’s two biggest producers of greenhouse gas emissions, the United States, and China are set to sign the climate agreement on Earth Day, hoping that it will come into force this year. Both countries ratified their commitment to the deal in a joint statement, vowing to use public resources to promote the transition toward cleaner energy as a top priority.
Source: Christian Science Monitor