On Friday, April 22, a major milestone has been marked for the historic agreement on climate change. A record number of 175 countries have finally signed the Paris Agreement prepared at the last December meeting.
World leaders agree that the passage of the Paris Climate Change Agreement is a transformational moment in decades-long struggle to downsize global warming. In order to address climate change, all the world's major carbon dioxide emitters had agreed to specific goals in emissions reductions.
Time reports that high-level diplomats and heads of state who gathered on Friday at the United Nations have signed the historic document. However, to fight a relentless increase in global temperatures, world leaders made it clear that more action is needed and the global community is required to act fast.
According to the publication Herald and News, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared in his opening speech that the global community cannot afford for longer an era of consumption without consequences. "The world is in a race against time," according to him.
Signing the Paris Agreement is like signing a "new covenant with the future." However, this covenant should lead to "more than promises."
This is just a first step in the long bureaucratic process that could allow the Paris Agreement on climate change to take effect later this year. But some policymakers and scientists already complain that the deal still leaves many questions unanswered.
For instance, it is not clear yet how the agreement's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be achieved at levels that will keep global temperature rise by 2010 below 3.6°F (2°C). Most of the countries only submitted detailed plans in the Paris Agreement no further than the 2020s. In order to put the planet on a path to achieve the Paris Agreement's goal more detailed plans and commitments are necessary.
According to a study from Climate Action Tracker, the goal to prevent 2°C of warming would not be possible to be achieved if countries only follow through on their current commitments. The further success of the climate change deal will also depend on developing new environmental technologies such carbon capture.