155 Nations Sign the Paris Agreement Today (Earth Day)! April 22, 2016

 

 

In this Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, photo, the Eiffel Tower lights up with the slogan"Action Now"referring to the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. The carbon footprint for the COP21 conference runs to thousands of tons, for the some 40,000 people, including heads of state, negotiators, activists and journalists, in Paris to hash out a ground-breaking international agreement to put a brake on global warming. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

The Eiffel Tower brilliantly lights up with the slogan “Action Now” referring to the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. December 6, 2015. Photo Courtesy AP/Michel Euler

 

I am thrilled that today, Earth Day, we are having 155 nations sign the historic Paris Agreement at the United Nations headquarters in New York!  This is absolutely fantastic news about finally putting the brakes on manmade global warming! Mr. David Waskow, Director of the International Climate Initiative at the World Resources Institute said, “It clearly demonstrates the degree of support internationally for moving forward on climate.”

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is directing the signing event. And as a result, this will most likely make it possible for the Paris Agreement to become a reality. This past December, in Paris, when negotiations for the Agreement began, the ambassadors anticipated it would enter into force sometime between 2018 and 2020.  Now with 155 Nations in New York signing the Agreement, the timeline most likely, will be moved up!

The Agreement was approved by all 196 Parties within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at COP21 (Conference of the Parties) in Paris on December 12, 2015. The Agreement states, all countries pledge in working towards limiting the temperature rise overall “below 2 degrees Celsius, but are aiming to achieve a temperature rise below 1.5 degree Celsius.” After today’s Earth Day event, the UN will leave its signature book open for one year so that all 196 parties can sign it to validate the Paris Agreement.

French President Francois Hollande, right, French Foreign Minister and president of the COP21 Laurent Fabius, second, right, United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres and United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon hold their hands up after the final conference at the COP21, the United Nations conference on climate change, in Le Bourget, north of Paris, Saturday, Dec.12, 2015. Governments have adopted a global agreement that for the first time asks all countries to reduce or rein in their greenhouse gas emissions. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

French President Francois Hollande, right, French Foreign Minister and president of the COP21 Laurent Fabius, second, right, United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres and United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon hold their hands up after the final conference at the COP21, the United Nations conference on climate change, in Le Bourget, north of Paris, Saturday, Dec.12, 2015. Governments have adopted a global agreement that for the first time asks all countries to reduce or rein in their greenhouse gas emissions. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

What Commitments Will Countries Share when signing the Paris Agreement?

All 196 Parties to the UNFCC are invited to sign the Paris Agreement. As each country signs the Agreement, they will also submit their individual proposal plan. This will then validate that the actions in the Agreement so they can become effective.

As each nation submits their proposal plan, they will be presented to the Ban Ki-moon Depositary. And only when each nation completes this process can the country officially ratify the Paris Agreement. The rules state “The Paris Agreement will become effective on the 30th day after the date on which at least 55 parties, which cut at least 55 percent of total emissions of greenhouse gases.” The UN Climate Chief, Christiana Figueres said, “Impossible isn’t a fact; it’s an attitude.” She continued and explained how the adaption of the historic Paris Agreement in December 2015 brought together the world’s nations. Ms. Figueres explains how the world’s nations “met and decided unanimously to intentionally change the course of the world economy in order to protect the most vulnerable and improve the lives of us all.”

Celebrating Both Earth Day and the Paris Agreement Signing on April 22, 2016!

 Awesome News! Earth Day actually coincides with the United Nation’s ceremony of the signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change! It was in 2009 when the UN General Assembly designated April 22nd as International Mother Earth Day via resolution A/RES/63/278.  Attendees at the meeting found that Mother Earth is a very common expression for our planet Earth in a large number of countries. This acknowledges the “interdependence between human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit.”

Here in the United States, the Earth Day celebration began in 1970. It is organized by the Earth Day Network. Their mission is to “broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide and mobilize as the most effective vehicle for building a healthy, sustainable environment, tackling climate change and protecting the Earth for future generations.”

As the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day approaches in 2020, the Earth Day Network set a target of planting 7.8 million trees in the next five years! Why? Because the trees help fight the climate change combat, as they absorb excess amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), which are very harmful to the Earth’s atmosphere and her oceans. From the International Mother Earth Day website http://www.un.org/en/events/motherearthday/

  • Trees help combat climate change.
    They absorb excess and harmful CO2 from our atmosphere. In fact, in a single year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced by driving the average car 26,000 miles.
  • Trees help us breathe clean air.
    Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
  • Trees help us to counteract the loss of species.
    By planting the right trees, we can help counteract the loss of species, as well as provide increased habitat connectivity between regional forest patches.
  • Trees help communities and their Livelihoods.
    Trees help communities achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability and provide food, energy and income.

So once again I am thrilled that Earth Day today, April 22, 2016, will be historic with the coinciding of Ban Ki-moon’s invitation to governments of the world to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change! Ban Ki-moon said, “The world now has an agreement on universal, equitable, flexible and durable climate. Our task is not over. In fact, it’s just begun. In 2016, we must move from words to deeds. The signing ceremony this April 22 is an essential step.”

As more news with the historic Paris Agreement becomes available, I’ll post it in future blogs.

If you see any sick or injured manatees, please call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at: 1-888-404-FWCC. They are the folks who are responsible for rescuing us in Florida.

Here’s the Save the Manatee Club link to learn more about us manatees …

www.savethemanatee.org

Here’s a cool link for you to learn more about how we’re rescued and brought into rehabilitation …

www.wildtracks.org

~ Kobee Manatee

 

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155 Nations Sign the Paris Agreement Today (Earth Day)!

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Robert Scott Thayer

Robert Scott Thayer

Author Robert Scott Thayer is also a recording artist who writes and sings in the pop, jazz, and children’s genres. Robert has won several International Songwriting Awards including those from Billboard. His newest children’s tune, Kobee’s Song, produced by 2012 Grammy winner Jim Cravero, is fun, upbeat, and has a solid reggae groove. It’s about the clever protagonist, KOBEE MANATEE, in Thayer’s first children’s informational picture book.

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