November 5, 2016

WORLD: Paris Climate Agreement Becomes International Law. 96 Countries Have Formally Joined The Accord. Why The Paris Agreement On Climate Change Means The End Of coal. :o

Indian Express
written by AP staff
Friday November 4, 2016

The Paris Agreement to combat climate change becomes international law on Friday — a landmark that the United Nations says signals the beginning of a new chapter for humankind and demonstrates that countries are serious about addressing global warming.

So far, 96 countries, accounting for just over two thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, have formally joined the accord which seeks limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Many more countries are expected to come aboard the coming weeks and months.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to commemorate “this historic day for both the people and the planet” by holding a conversation on Friday with civil society organizations about how they can contribute to the objectives of the Paris agreement.
Greenpeace International
written by Nicola Casule
October 12, 2016

The world has finally taken a big step forward in the fight against dangerous global warming.

The Paris Agreement on climate change – the first universal, legally binding, agreement to cut carbon emissions – was voted into law by enough nations to come into force.

The nations that have taken action are some of the biggest polluters, including the USA, China, India and the European Union. And it happened in record time: just 11 months after the deal was signed last December in Paris (the Kyoto climate change agreement, by comparison, took just over seven years). Momentum for action is building, and the Paris Agreement is a major step on the road to a future free from carbon pollution.

That’s great! So the climate crisis is over then, right?

Not quite. The Paris Agreement legislates substantial cuts to emissions in coming decades, and the fact that the biggest, most polluting nations have agreed to cut emissions and protect people from the effects of a dangerously hotter planet is important. But even those countries agree that these targets need to be strengthened if we are going to make the kind of carbon pollution reductions we need to keep the planet safe.

What does the Agreement mean for fossil fuels?

The targets in the Paris agreement effectively rule out any new fossil fuels projects, whether coal, oil or gas. It also means that we need to start phasing out the mining and burning of existing fossil fuel reserves so that we have a world with clean air and water, a liveable climate and a natural world that flourishes in all its beauty, rather than a warming planet marked by droughts, fiercer bushfires and hurricanes, and conflict over dwindling resources.

As Bill McKibben recently pointed out, this means that if you still support new fossil fuel projects, you are a climate denier. This is true for governments and corporations alike.

The time is now

There’s no time to waste. Global warming is happening here and now and its effects are being felt all around the world. Whether it’s the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef that's killed a quarter of its coral, or the killer heatwaves that saw major cities in India hit 51C (124F), we are already suffering under human-made global warming that has pushed 2016 to be the hottest year on record.

But at the same time, we are seeing the solutions to the problem everywhere too. Solar and wind are breaking records in size and speed of installation – and they’re cheaper than ever. Local communities are liberating themselves from polluting fuels through cheap, decentralised renewables. And a powerful movement for change all over the world is demanding we do more to stop global warming and is pushing our leaders to match their words with real action.

Together we can win this fight, and protect the places and things we love for generations to come.

Nikola Casule is the Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific
I don't blame Australia for not wanting to sign on to this agreement.

ABC News, Australia
written by Staff
Thursday November 3, 2016

The United Nations has warned the world is not on track to achieve temperature goals set in the landmark Paris climate change agreement.

The agreement came into effect at midnight, with small island nations in the Pacific — many of them in danger of rising seas from global warming — kicking off the rolling start.

Australia has signed the Paris Agreement, but will not be legally bound by it until it is ratified — that is, passed — by Parliament.

But as the agreement came into effect, the United Nations was warning that greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 would exceed by 12 billion to 14 billion tonnes what is needed to keep global warming to an internationally agreed target.

The annual UN Environment report analysed countries' current pledges for emission cuts and said they were not sufficient.

Emissions in 2030 are expected to reach 54-56 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, far above the level of 42 billion tonnes needed to have a chance of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius this century.

Even if the pledges on cutting emissions under the Paris agreement are fully implemented, predicted 2030 emissions could put the world on track for a temperature rise of 2.9C to 3.4C this century, the report said.

However UN Environment's chief scientist Jacqueline McGlade told reporters at a briefing that the emissions gap could "absolutely" be filled.

Deal did not specify starting time zone

The 2015 Paris Agreement formally started on November 4 after winning support from major greenhouse gas emitters led by China and the United States, but legal texts do not specify a time zone where it begins.

As a result, it came into effect first in the Pacific region, home to low-lying island states on the front lines of storm surges, disruptions to rainfall and a creeping rise in sea levels.

The eastern islands of Kiribati were among the first, followed by countries such as Tonga, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands.

Going into effect in the Pacific "which is home to vulnerable island nations who have all ratified the agreement, makes for one of those serendipitous moments in history," Thoriq Ibrahim, Environment Minister of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, said.

Mr Ibrahim will chair the alliance of small island states at talks among almost 200 nations in Marrakesh from November 7 to 18 to try to find ways to implement the Paris Agreement, partly by working out rules for an often vague text.

The Paris Agreement seeks to wean the world economy off fossil fuels in the second half of the century and limit a rise in average world temperatures to "well below" 2C above preindustrial times.

Australia yet to ratify agreement in Parliament

Australia's Government has said that it tabled the Paris Agreement at the first opportunity after the election, and the ratification is now in its final stages, with the agreement before the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

"It's unlikely that Australia will have ratified the agreement prior to the global talks starting, which is unfortunate," chief executive of the Climate Council Amanda McKenzie said.

"Part of the important thing in Australia's contribution to the inter

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