Historic climate pact takes effect

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PARIS: A hard-fought pact to stave off worst-case scenario global warming came into force Friday.It is the first-ever pact binding all the world’s nations, rich and poor, to a commitment to cap average global warming by curbing planet-warming greenhouse gases from burning coal, oil and gas.

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This meant drastically cutting emissions in the short term, “certainly in the next 15 years.”

By 2030, said the UN Environment Programme, annual greenhouse gas emissions will be 12 to 14 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) higher than the desired level of 42 billion tons.

The 2014 level was about 52.7 billion tons.

2016 is on track to become the hottest year on record, and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere passed an ominous milestone in 2015.

After years of complex and divisive negotiations, a deal was finally endorsed in the French capital last December.

It had to be ratified by 55 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), representing 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions to take effect.

It passed the threshold last month, and now has ratifications from 94 of the 197 UNFCCC parties.

Next week, negotiators will gather in Marrakesh for a follow-up to the Paris meeting, a chance to start putting political undertakings into practice.

AFP

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