On the 22th of April this year, political figureheads from greater than 170 different countries all came together to sign the Paris Agreement for Earth Day, held in New York at the UN HQ. Regarded as a day to benefit the future of the generations to come, the nations present effectively came together, in unison, to provide consent to their binding to an agreement on climate targets as agreed in principle last December, at COP21.
Of those countries representing, the UK, US and China were amongst those at the meeting, with 15 of the 175 countries which signed the agreement itself actually taking an extra step to provide “instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval.” As a whole, the day was regarded as a great step forward, with record-breaking signature frequencies for day one of any international treaty, this highlighting the responsible approach taken by many nations from around the globe.
As explained by the UN Secretary-General, whilst records for the signing were indeed being broken at the event, this also runs in unison with the record breaking levels of ice loss, rising global temperatures and peak levels in carbon, highlighting the urgency for nations to act on this. He added: “We are in a race against time, and for that reason I urge all countries to join quickly so that the Paris Agreement can enter into force as soon as possible.”
From an overarching perspective, the signing of these nations represents a positive step in the right direction of an ambitious and balanced climate deal, incorporating the legally binding target of maintaining temperatures for global warning far below that of 2C. How things will progress in the coming times remains unsure, however, through the hard work of all these nations coming together, it is hoped that efforts to decarbonise economies around the world, as well as to provide assistance to countries still developing, can have a meaningful impact on future climate change.