World leaders sign up to climate deal

Over 150 nations are today expected to formally sign the Paris climate deal that was agreed in December 2015. World leaders and state representatives will attend the official ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York that will take place on Earth Day.
Today’s ceremony is an historic moment with a record number of national governments signing an international agreement on climate change. It will then need to be ratified into law in national parliaments around the world.
Stop CIimate Chaos Scotland Chair Tom Ballantine said,
“The signing of the Paris Agreement is an historic moment in the global fight against climate change. World leaders are reaffirming the commitments made in Paris and moving this agreement a step closer towards becoming international law.
“The Agreement may not be perfect, but the commitment from the world’s biggest nations right to the smallest island states to take the action required and spur the clean development needed to tackle climate change is unparalleled.”
“What matters now is how those leaders take those commitments to their own countries and back them up with low carbon action to reduce emissions. The question is not just will we all act but will we act quick enough.”
The agreement will need to be ratified into law in 55 countries, accounting for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, to come into legal force. [See footnotes]
Earlier this week, on the Scottish Parliament election campaign trail, political parties set out their plans to tackle climate change.
Tom Ballantine continued,
“Last year all five parties signed a Climate Leaders Agreement committing them to set out in their manifestos how they will deliver on the ambitions of Scotland’s Climate Act.
“Scotland has built up its momentum through embracing renewable energy, closing down our coal power stations and reducing overall emissions year on year.  We can be proud of how far we have come but we must continue to move rapidly, given the urgency of the climate crisis.
“The challenge is  to turn our high ambition to tackle climate change into concrete, transformative action.
“The next Scottish Parliament must make ending the scourge of cold homes a national priority, encourage more of us to leave the car at home in favour of walking and cycling, and support farmers to cut the huge climate impact of our food system.  It would send a strong signal if we were to invest more in public transport such as buses and trains instead of giving a handout to the airline industry by cutting APD.
“By maintaining our Climate Justice Fund, we can support some of those people in the poorest nations who are already dealing with the impacts of a changing climate.
Mr Ballantine concluded,
“The decisions made by the MSPs elected in May will be critical to meeting Scotland’s climate commitments and securing the health, social and economic benefits of a low carbon Scotland.”
Notes to Editors

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