Some 30 countries to ratify Paris climate accord at UN

UNITED NATIONS – At least 30 countries will on Wednesday, September 21, formally join the Paris agreement on climate change, moving it closer to reality, according to the United Nations.

The global body said 30 states would submit their ratification at the UN General Assembly including Latin American heavyweights Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

Other countries include Bangladesh, Singapore, Thailand and major fossil fuel power the United Arab Emirates.

The Paris accord, sealed late last year in the French capital, commits countries to make plans to keep global warming at no more than 2ºC (3.6ºF) above pre-industrial levels to try to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

To take effect, 55 parties responsible for at least 55 of global emissions of greenhouse gases must join the accord.

As of Tuesday, 29 parties behind 40% of emissions have given their consent, according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The agreement received a major boost earlier this month when China and the United States, the two largest emitters, jointly acceded to the deal during a summit between Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping.

French Environment Minister Segolene Royal told Agence France-Presse on Monday, September 19, that she was upbeat the accord would take effect before the next UN-led climate conference on November 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco.

The conference opens one day before the US election, in which Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who rejects mainstream science on climate change, has vowed to tear up the Paris accord.

Brazil's new president, Michel Temer, told the UN General Assembly earlier Tuesday, September 19, that he would ratify the accord, saying that his biodiverse nation was committed to environmental protection. –