It’s a record: 155 nations plan to sign Paris climate agreement today

It’s a record: 155 nations plan to sign Paris climate agreement today

What a way to celebrate Earth Day.

A total of 155 nations, including the U.S. and China, are planning to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change today, April 22, which is the first day it will be open for signature.

Such a large number of signatories so quickly would set a record for international agreements, beating out the 119 signatories on the opening day of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982.

This massive single-day signing, the specifics of which were confirmed by the U.N. and a senior State Department official, would show the continued momentum behind taking action to curb manmade global warming.

“It clearly demonstrates the degree of support internationally for moving forward on climate,” said David Waskow, the director of the international climate initiative at the World Resources Institute.

The event, which U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is coordinating, is likely to make it possible for the agreement to enter into force sooner than expected.

When the agreement was negotiated in Paris in December, it was anticipated that it would enter into force in the 2018 to 2020 timeframe.

The agreement for the first time commits all nations – large and small – to undertake actions to reduce global warming pollutants. Countries would, over time, make increasingly ambitious emissions cuts.

The agreement does not actually specify when it will enter into force. Instead, it contains a provision saying it will enter into force once 55 nations totaling at least 55 percent of global emissions join the agreement.

But signing the agreement is different than joining it. Joining requires a legal process to play out within each country. Still, it’s a sign that a relatively swift entry into force is likely.

“It’s quite likely at this point that it will go into effect before 2020,” Waskow told Mashable.

According to a senior State Department official, the U.S. will join the agreement sometime this year, once a process plays out within the executive branch.

Source: Mashable

Date: April 2016

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