Paris climate deal comes into force as focus shifts to action

The Paris agreement on climate change has come into force with governments agreeing to keep the global temperature rise to two degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels – and preferably 1.5 degrees.

‘This is a moment to celebrate,’ United Nations climate chief Patricia Espinosa told Reuters. ‘It is also a moment to look ahead with sober assessment and renewed will over the task ahead.’

Delegates from almost 200 countries are meeting in Marrakech next week to consider the way ahead.

The deal agreed in the French capital less than a year ago commits governments to moving their economies away from fossil fuels.

On Thursday, a UN review of national pledges to cut carbon said they fall short of the levels needed to keep the rise in global temperatures under 2C.

Environmental groups and other experts have urged governments to do more.

World Bank group president Jim Yong Kim said even with the commitments made in Paris and encouraging action on the ground, ‘we will not meet our aspiration of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees unless we move faster and at the scale that is needed’.

‘As the world heads into (the meeting) in Marrakesh, we must regain the sense of urgency we felt a year ago,’ he said.


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