Sixty countries, representing just shy of 48 percent of the globe’s emissions, have now formally joined the Paris climate agreement, the most advanced global attempt in history to curb humanity’s role in the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Those numbers are significant because the agreement, negotiated last December, will formally “enter into force” when 55 countries, representing 55 percent of global emissions, join the effort. Thirty-one countries joined the accord at a ceremony Wednesday morning, or shortly before it, at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Those included the relatively large emitters Mexico (1.70 percent of global emissions), Argentina (0.89 percent), Ukraine (1.04 percent) and the United Arab Emirates (0.53 percent of emissions).
The pact “now brings us over the 55 countries necessary … and all that is left now to do is get the 55 percent of emissions,” said U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry said at the event. “But this is a great accomplishment today, and everybody should be proud of what has happened.”
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that he was “ever more confident that the Paris Agreement will enter into force this year,” and Kerry added that he also was “absolutely confident” of that outcome.
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The ceremony also featured an airing of videos, submitted by leaders from numerous countries, pledging that they, too, would complete the necessary domestic steps that would allow them to legally join the agreement this year. A number of other relatively large emitters were on that list, including Canada (1.95 percent) and Australia (1.46 percent).
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