Paris Agreement on Climate Change Current Affairs - 2019

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April 22: Earth Day

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. It was first celebrated in 1970, and since then it is celebrated in more than 193 countries by over a billion people every year. Earth Day celebrations are coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.

Earth Day 2017’s Campaign is Environmental & Climate Literacy. Environmental and climate literacy was chosen as it is important for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies across the globe as well as to accelerate green technologies and jobs.

Earth Day

Every year Earth Day is being observed on the 22nd April to build support for environmental protection around the world. It aims to encourage people to carry out activities that will benefit the Earth, such as recycling more, using solar power or plant trees.

Earth Day celebrations are a way to remind humans of environmental deterioration caused by them and advise them to turn off the electronic devices that are not in use or taking public transport to reduce the emission levels. It recognises that Earth and its ecosystems provide its inhabitants with life and sustenance. It also aims to raise awareness that humans have a collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature and to balance the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations.

The concept of observing Earth Day was formally proposed by John McConnell at a UNESCO conference on Environment in 1969. Later in 1971, a proclamation was signed to observe international Earth Day annually on the Vernal Equinox by UN Secretary-General U Thant.

On Earth Day 2016, historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed. The agreement is legally binding on signatory countries to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

EU ministers approve ratification of Paris climate Agreement

The European Union (EU) ministers have approved the ratification of Paris Agreement (on Climate Change). This decision brings the Paris Agreement closer to entering into force.

Once approved by the European Parliament, the EU deposit its ratification instrument before national ratification processes which are completed in each member state. As of now, only 5 EU nations have ratified the agreement at the national level.

Comment

  • The 28 EU member nations together account for close to 12% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • The addition of EU will take the cumulative emissions of ratifying parties of the agreement well beyond the 55% minimum required for the treaty to enter into force.
  • The Paris Agreement has been already crossed the first condition of 55 countries ratifying the treaty to enable its entry into force.
  • As of now, 61 countries, accounting for almost 48% of global GHG emissions have ratified the deal.
  • India, which accounts for 4.1% of global GHG emission also has agreed to ratify it on October 2, 2016.
  • Together with the EU, total global GHG emissions covered by ratifying parties will make the treaty ready to enter into force.