By Bronte Price, PoliticKING
175 world leaders signed the historic Paris climate agreement accord on Friday, which is also Earth Day. The signing sets a record for the number of countries signing an agreement on the first available day, according to the Associated Press.
Speaking at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the importance of this accord. "We are in a race against time," he said. "The era of consumption without consequences is over." the Secretary General added that this is a widespread issue, affecting everyone. "The poor and most vulnerable must not suffer further from a problem they did not create," he said.
— WRI Climate (@WRIClimate) April 22, 2016
197 children also attended the event to represent the parties who adopted the agreement, and the impact the agreement would have on the future. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s granddaughter was one of the children in attendance and Kerry signed the document while holding her in his lap.
"These young people are our future. Our covenant is with them," Ban Ki-Moon said. "Today is a day for our children and grandchildren and all generations to come."
The treaty was approved in Paris in December 2015 after years of U.N. climate negotiations. It aims to slow the rise of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, which are main contributors to global warming.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) April 22, 2016
President of the World Resources Institute, Andrew Steer said that the signing could not come soon enough. "Each month since the Paris agreement was reached has brought fresh evidence that Mother Nature has a fever and all life on Earth is suffering the consequences," he stated.
According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, last year was the planet's hottest on record, and 2016 is already set to exceed the 2015 record. The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that over the past winter, the peak in Arctic sea ice was the lowest since records began 37 years ago.
Here’s what Jesse Ventura has to say about climate change:
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