The Paris Agreement: What It Is And Why It Matters
The Obama Administration has announced that the so-called Paris Agreement is officially set to go into effect next month. The global climate change agreement, which has now been adopted by 73 countries accounting for 56.8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, has set a long-term goal of preventing global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Both the United States and China, the world’s two largest greenhouse gas producers, have ratified the agreement.
While the agreement doesn’t legally bind participating countries to specific emissions caps, it does require them to publicly disclose emissions goals, meaningfully pursue those goals and report progress every five years.
President Barack Obama, who spearheaded the Paris Deal negotiations and pushed for ratification, said the deal could be the best shot at saving Earth for future generations.
“If we follow through on the commitments that this Paris agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet,” Obama said.
While Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supports the Paris Agreement, Republican Donald Trump is against the deal.
“We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop all payments of the United States’ tax dollars to UN global warming programs,” Trump said at an oil and natural gas conference in May.
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, Trump has also called global warming a “hoax” created by the Chinese government.
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