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Climate change deal becomes global law

Historic climate pact enters into force Historic climate pact enters into force
Carmela Zoppi | 05 Novembre, 2016, 23:36

For the first time in history, governments around the world have agreed to legally binding limits on global temperature rises as the Paris Agreement [text, PDF] on climate change became effective [Guardian report] on Friday.

Secretary General Ban-Ki moon commemorated the event, talking with civil society groups at United Nations headquarters in NY to hear their concerns and visions for the future.

Here is a brief explainer of this "milestone" climate agreement.

"But with the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the world has the plans we need to make the shift to a low-emission, climate-resilient path", Ban told the press on Friday at the UN Headquarters in NY.

With a goal to limit temperature rise to well below 2 degrees, maybe even 1.5, the Paris Agreement is ambitious.

How is it going to do that?

So if countries intend to follow through on the goals they expressed in the Paris Agreement, they had better get ready to ratchet up their efforts.

Hollande will be in Morocco on November 15-16 to take part in a summit on climate change held during the COP22.

Nicholas Stern, a climate change and environment expert at the London School of Economics, is confident that China will honor its commitments to the agreement. If Japan misses its mark the first time around, the country may have to include new, tougher measures in revised plans five years later.

In his speech marking the occasion, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon praised the resolve of governments and civil society groups for passing the deal to tackle climate change.

In its annual emissions report, UNEP projected that annual emissions can not exceed 42 billion tons of Carbon dioxide by 2030 for the world to have a chance to meet the 2-degree goal.

"We are personally committed to ensuring that by working with others our companies play a key role in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, while still providing the energy the world needs", the companies said.

He added that over the past decade, a "great global coalition" for climate action, including government officials, scientists, faith leaders, business executives and civil society activists around the world was forged and it recognized that the future of people and planet was at stake. So I ask each and every one of you to keep up the fight.

The final text of the Paris Agreement included no explicit reference to global shipping, which accounts for 2.2% of earth's man-made Carbon dioxide emissions.

Lit up in green, the Eiffel Tower in Paris proclaimed: "Accord de Paris, c'est fait!"

The core agreement will be binding to all parties that ratified the agreement, according to the United Nations, but there are also parts of the agreement that are not legally binding. It has put in place a transparency mechanism through which countries would report on progress made towards meeting their pledges.

"There is no benefit to flouting the Agreement".

De Guzman earlier told Rappler that the country is expected to lead negotiations in behalf of the Group of 77 and China "on the matter of finance, a most important issue for climate vulnerable developing countries".

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