Home > Latest News > Environmental Health > Environmental Protection >

World Leaders to Sign Climate Agreement on Earth Day

April 22, 2016
Environmental Protection

Today’s 46th Earth Day is being heralded as the most important ever as world leaders get ready to sign the Paris Agreement at a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Negotiated at the COP21 Conference last December, the agreement brings together 195 countries in an attempt to avoid ‘dangerous’ climate change.

The document sets a target to keep temperature rises well below 2 degrees Celsius as well as introducing a five-year review system to monitor progress. The full deal however will only come into force when it is ratified by at least 55 countries responsible for 55% of the world’s carbon emissions.

Over 150 countries are expected to sign the agreement today with the signing period staying open for one year. At the signing ceremony, Lord Nicholas Stern chair of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy is expected to tell heads of state; “We have a once-in-history opportunity to create a new, shared, inspiring and sustainable world. If we delay, it will be gone. The way investments will be made, in transport, energy, water, buildings and land, will determine whether we can hold global warming to well below 2 centigrade degrees, or whether we are doomed to cities where people can neither move nor breathe, and to ecosystems that will collapse.”

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and is organised by the Earth Day Network. This year’s theme is Trees for Earth, with a target of planting 7.8 million trees in the next five years.

You can find out more about Earth Day HERE

You can follow the signing ceremony on Twitter using #ParisAgreement