Let’s Celebrate!

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November 4, 2016

The landmark global accord to reduce carbon pollution officially enters into force today, requiring almost 200 countries worldwide, including China, the United States, India and Canada, to act on the commitments their leaders first pledged when negotiating the Paris Agreement in December, 2015.

Worldwide, leaders and climate activists have turned to social media to mark this special day.

“We remain in a race against time,” United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said. “Now is the time to strengthen global resolve, do what science demands and seize the opportunity to build a safer, more sustainable world for all.”

“This is a moment to celebrate. It is also a moment to look ahead with sober assessment and renewed will over the task ahead,” United Nations’ climate chief Patricia Espinosa said in a statement.

“In a short time — and certainly in the next 15 years — we need to see unprecedented reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and unequalled efforts to build societies that can resist rising climate impacts,” she said.

France’s Environment Minister, Segolone Royal said it is an “historic day for humanity and the planet,” and tweeted that the city had draped the Eiffel Tower in green to celebrate.

“The science shows that we need to move much faster,” said the UN’s Environment Programme leader Erik Solheim. “The growing numbers of climate refugees hit by hunger, poverty, illness and conflict will be a constant reminder of our failure to deliver.”

The Canadian Parliament voted to ratify the Paris Agreement on October 5.

China and the US, responsible for about 40 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, ratified the Paris Agreement on September 3.

The agreement aims to limit global temperature rise to 2° C, and make every effort to limit this increase to 1.5 degrees.