The Paris Climate Agreement Just Passed a Major Milestone

By Maddie Stone on at

Good news, Earthlings: the Paris climate agreement had passed a critical milestone toward adoption. At a UN General Assembly meeting in New York this morning, 31 nations officially signed onto the accord, making it very likely that the deal will enter legal force this year.

You may remember that the Paris agreement—an international pledge to limit us to 2 degrees Celsius of global warming, by weaning every nation off fossil fuels—was adopted at an international summit in December 2015. But before it can go into effect, it needs to be formally ratified by 55 countries that together account for 55 per cent of global carbon emissions.

The accord received a major boost earlier this month, when the United States and China, two carbon behemoths that together account for nearly forty per cent of global emissions, jointly announced their intention to ratify the deal. Before today, 27 other nations that collectively represent some 2 to 3 per cent of global emissions had also signed on.

Now, the chorus of agreement has grown much stronger. The 31 new pledges, which include Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Bangladesh, mean that a total of 60 countries representing 47.7 per cent of emissions have now signed on. Given this progress, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and secretary of state John Kerry are both confident that the deal will be fully implemented in the coming months, according to The Guardian.

That’s very good news in light of the looming US presidential election, which features a fascist tangerine who thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax and has promised to rip the Paris agreement to shreds if elected. Once the accord is implemented, it’ll take the United States four years to legally withdraw.

Meaning, if we finish ratifying it soon, President Trump can blow hot air all day, and he still won’t be able to doom future generations to catastrophic sea level rise. C’mon, guys. We can do this. [The Guardian, NY Times]