Today is a monumental day in the fight against climate change. Thanks to the European Union’s recent vote to ratify the Paris agreement, it now has enough participants required to come into force, but there is a 30-day waiting time for the agreement to kick into gear.
As announced by the UN, this means that the most comprehensive attempt yet at saving the world from the nightmares of unmitigated climate change will begin to take effect on November 4.
“This is a momentous occasion,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared in a statement. “What once seemed unthinkable, is now unstoppable.
“Strong international support for the Paris Agreement entering into force is a testament to the urgency for action, and reflects the consensus of governments that robust global cooperation, grounded in national action, is essential to meet the climate challenge.”
The agreement’s activation required 55 countries representing 55 percent of global carbon emissions to formally enter the pact. As of October 6, 74 countries – representing 59 percent of emissions – have joined it.
Obama, speaking in the Rose Garden, welcomes the news on October 5. Associated Press via YouTube
Just this September, the US and China, who alone produce 38 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, ratified the agreement in a day many thought would never arrive. This boosted the confidence of other sizeable nations in the pioneering pact, and shortly afterward, India and the EU followed suit.
And this week, Canada’s parliament voted overwhelmingly to enter into the climate change agreement, as did New Zealand and Nepal.
Speaking from the White House, President Obama said: “Today is a historic day in the fight to protect our planet for future generations. This gives us the best possible shot to save the one planet we got.
“With optimism and faith and hope, we are proving it is possible.”