Record number of states expected to sign Paris climate deal

Friday 22nd Apr 2016 by the Weather Club

Photo: One of the world's largest coal-fired stations, the 5,400 MW Bełchatów Power Station in Poland. Source: Wiki

Around 170 countries are gathered and expected to sign the new Paris Agreement on climate change today, corresponding with International Earth Day. 

Back in December, 196 countries adopted the historic Paris Agreement at COP21, marking a critical turning point to mitigate the effects of global warming. Following the adoption of the deal, today, countries are taking the second step towards formalising the agreement, with the ‘signing’ stage of the deal taking place today at the UN Headquarters in New York.

In order for the agreement to come into effect, the treaty needs at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions to sign the deal. China and the US are the world’s biggest polluters, accounting for almost 38% of global emissions. Both countries are pledging to signing the agreement, making a substantial contribution to meeting the requirements needed to formalise the deal.

The third step is joining; a country can do this on the day, or do this several months later. A country can join the deal through “ratification, acceptance or approval” indicating its consent to now be legally bound by the agreement.

As the day progresses, you can track the countries that sign the agreement using the CAIT Climate Data Explorer: http://cait.wri.org/indc/#/ratification