Climate Change Agreement Signed on Earth Day in New York | In a Bottle

Climate Change Agreement signed on “Earth Day” in New York

A historic moment took place on "Earth Day," when the agreement was signed to limit temperature rises to below 2 degrees from 2020

MILAN - On 22 April, 175 countries signed the agreement on climate change. This collaboration, involving the world’s major powers, was already approved in December 2015 during the Paris conference. On “Earth Day,” Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, announced the opening of the ceremony of the Assembly of the United Nations. It was a historical moment that ended in the best way, as all the countries involved decided to engage in a serious effort to address the problem of climate change. The signatories included the United States, European Union, China and Russia.

What is the aim of the Climate Agreement

The text of the Climate Agreement aims to limit the increase in temperature to below 2 degrees from 2020. In particular, countries are committing themselves to not exceeding 1.5 degrees. Since 1880, temperatures have increased by 0.85 degrees. Without intervention, the threshold limit set could be reached by 2035. Additionally, leaders of industrialised countries will be obligated to create an annual fund of $100 million, set up in order to assign clean technologies to countries that are not able to independently switch to the “green economy,” in this way minimising their negative impact on the environment. Monitoring will carried out every five years, starting in 2023.

Changing environmental policies

The main objective is to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, based on changing environmental policies. The 31-page agreement will enter into force when at least 55 countries representing 55% of global emissions formally join the agreement. The United States and China, which alone account for 38% of the flow of gases into the atmosphere, have assured that they will have ratified the Paris Agreement by 2016.

However, the European Union represents less than 10% of emissions and considerable time is required for Brussels to decide on the reduction of hard coal flow from all Member States. Therefore, the signing of the Paris agreement is an important step for global environmental policy, although it will not be easy to achieve the 55% target.

by Alessandro Conte