Earth Day: Paris agreement signing in New York marks major milestone towards fossil free future
Today, on Earth Day, at least 168 nations will sign the historic Paris Climate Agreement in New York against a backdrop of growing voices calling for a just transition towards a world powered by 100 percent renewable energy.
On the 12th of December 2015, the world leaders from 195 nations had agreed to the first universal climate agreement at the end of the COP21 summit in Paris. This agreement sets the ambitious goal of keeping us well below a 2°C global temperature increase, or 1.5°C, which will require deep emission cuts and efforts from all parts of society to avoid potential catastrophic changes.
2016 is already bringing deadly heatwaves in India, drought in southern Africa, record-breaking cyclones in the Pacific and coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.
The official signing is a major milestone as it will open the ratification process. To come into force, the Paris Agreement needs to be ratified by at least 55 Parties, representing at least 55% of world emissions.
For Philip Jennings, General Secretary of UNI Global Union , "a swift adoption of the Paris agreement is a necessary step to ramping up climate action and maintaining momentum in the months following Paris COP21. Therefore we encourage all union affiliates to keep the pressure up on their national leaders to ratify the agreement as soon as possible."
"With leaders reaffirming their own commitment to the transition, attention will now shift to ensuring they implement and improve the Paris Agreement and urgently move towards a healthier, fairer, more prosperous and fossil free future for all."
UNI Global Union is also preparing a new initivative on climate change and labour with various partners including the ILO, WHO, IOM, IOE, ITUC, UNDP and the Climate Vulnerable Forum on the occasion of the International Workers Memorial Day (28th of April). A new report will be launched on this special occasion showing that the impacts of climate change and heat-related events on labour productivity and health is a major social and economic issue which has been overlooked until now. The report will be published on that day on the UNI dedicated site: http://www.uni4climate.org.