Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

U.N. chief urges large nations to ratify Paris climate accord

Reuters reports that the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon is pressing nations to ratify the Paris climate accord.

Of the 195 nations that reached an agreement to cut global warming emissions - only 22 small and vulnerable nations have so far ratified the accord - but the pact will not come into force unless 55 nations and representing 55% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions also ratify.

China and the US together emit around 40% of these gases so unless these two nations do ratify - it is likely that the accord will not come into force.

Economic strength will clearly be reduced by these nations if they do commit to the reductions - so whilst they are in an obvious conflict for power globally - it is unlikely that one will not ratify without the other.

This is troubling because of the two US presidential candidates only Hillary Clinton has promised to push for greenhouse gas reductions - and not from any personal commitment - simply to keep the Bernie Sanders supporters onside. Once in office - it is likely that this commitment will rapidly fall in importance on her agenda. Trump has said that he would not ratify.

Given that it now appears almost certain that the planet is heating much faster than was predicted at the time of the accord - we must hope that Hillary is successful and public opinion, in the US, for the issue to be tackled rises in the face of very high temperatures and droughts that have been experienced in the Mid West - and this will push her to take the matter far more seriously.

There is little doubt that the US is the most influential nation on the planet - and without their commitment to the program - is unlikely to come into force.

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