Record day one signatures expected for Paris climate deal - U.N | Reuters

UNITED NATIONS A Paris deal to slow climate change is set to be signed by more than 165 countries at the United Nations on Friday, the most states to endorse an international agreement on day one, a record backers hope will inspire swift implementation. Many states still need a parliamentary vote to formally approve the agreement

Reuters April 23, 2016 02:16:58 IST
Record day one signatures expected for Paris climate deal - U.N
| Reuters

Record day one signatures expected for Paris climate deal  UN
 Reuters

UNITED NATIONS A Paris deal to slow climate change is set to be signed by more than 165 countries at the United Nations on Friday, the most states to endorse an international agreement on day one, a record backers hope will inspire swift implementation.

Many states still need a parliamentary vote to formally approve the agreement. It will only enter into force when ratified by at least 55 nations representing 55 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "wants to use the event to generate momentum around implementation and early entry into force of the Paris agreement," said Selwin Hart, director of Ban's climate change support team.

Some experts predict the 55 percent thresholds can be reached this year. The United Nations said 13 countries, mostly small island developing states, are due to deposit instruments of ratification on Friday.

The United Nations expects some 60 heads of state and government at the signing ceremony. French President Francois Hollande and Hollywood actor and environmental activist Leonardo di Caprio are expected to attend.

The previous first-day record for signatures was set in 1982 when 119 states signed the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

"It's happening much faster than anyone anticipated or expected," Hart said. "Independent analysis suggests that at least one of the top four emitters must ratify the agreement" for it to surpass the 55 percent of emissions threshold.

China and the United States, the world's top emitters accounting together for 38 percent of emissions, are due to sign, along with Russia and India, who round out the top four.

Many developing nations are pushing to ensure the climate deal comes into force this year, partly to lock in the United States if a Republican opponent of the pact is elected president in November.

Even if the pact is fully implemented, promised greenhouse gas cuts are insufficient to limit warming to an agreed maximum, the United Nations says.

The first three months of 2016 have broken temperature records and 2015 was the warmest year since records began in the 19th century, with heat waves, droughts and rising sea levels.

Warm waters have done widespread damage to corals in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and sea ice in the Arctic hit a record winter low last month.

"The magnitude of the changes has been a surprise even for veteran climate scientists," said Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organisation.

Jake Schmidt of the Natural Resources Defense Council said the high turnout on Friday "increases the chances that it (the agreement) will enter into force this year."

President Barack Obama says he does not need Senate approval to ratify the agreement. Once the accord enters into force, a little-noted Article 28 says any nation wanting to withdraw must wait four years, the length of a U.S. presidential term.

"There is a clear cry globally for climate action," a senior U.S. State Department official said.

(Additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by David Gregorio)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

also read

Sanders previews convention demands ahead of meeting with Clinton
| Reuters
World

Sanders previews convention demands ahead of meeting with Clinton | Reuters

WASHINGTON - Hours before rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were to meet on Tuesday when the Democratic presidential nominating contests conclude, Sanders said he would push for "the most progressive platform" ever passed at the party's convention next month and to reform the nominating process. Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, said he was looking forward to his meeting Tuesday night with Clinton, which comes as the self-styled Democratic socialist is facing pressure to formally concede in the fiercely fought Democratic primary and begin working with Clinton to unify the party to take on Republican Donald Trump in November.

U.N. Security Council to meet on Syria aid crisis Friday
| Reuters
World

U.N. Security Council to meet on Syria aid crisis Friday | Reuters

UNITED NATIONS The U.N. Security Council will hold a special meeting at the end of this week to hear from the United Nations whether aid workers have access to besieged areas of Syria as demanded last month by major world powers, Britain said on Wednesday. On May 17 members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) agreed in Vienna that the U.N

Yemen sides appoint ceasefire observers as army fights al Qaeda
| Reuters
World

Yemen sides appoint ceasefire observers as army fights al Qaeda | Reuters

KUWAIT/ADEN Yemen's government forces battled al Qaeda in the country's south on Saturday, aiming to push back advances the militant group has made during a year-long civil war while peace talks take place in Kuwait. Twenty fighters loyal to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) were killed in the clashes, residents and a military source said, while a drone strike killed two others further north