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Earth Day and the Paris Agreement Photo Credit: Andrew Vaccaro

Earth Day and the Paris Agreement

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Today, over 193 countries across the world celebrate the 46th Annual Earth Day. Earth Day 2016 marks a milestone for the Paris Climate Accord, the historic deal intended to combat climate change and commit the world to a sustainable future. As this post is published, the UN is hosting a signing ceremony at which the United States, China, and most of the rest of the world will sign the accord.

The agreement will allow the pact to enter into force should 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of greenhouse gas emissions ratify it. Today’s signing ceremony will ensure that the deal will be ratified and implemented.

The framework agreed last December in Paris by 195 nations will set a path to keep temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, direct actions and investments towards a low carbon future, and strengthen the world’s ability to deal with the impacts of climate change.

Should the nations that have pledged to sign follow through, those same advocacy groups, citizens and scientists will have many reasons to celebrate Earth Day. But it will not simply be a monumental win for them. It will be a win for the international community and the security of mother Earth.

The symbolism of Earth Day is important, but we should remember that climate change is not simply an environmental issue. It is an economic issue, a security issue, a health issue, and more. The truth is that it touches all areas of human society, and that’s why its so important that national leaders came together in Paris, and now in New York, to agree and ratify the Paris Accord – an agreement that will start the process of addressing climate change. ASP applauds and supports the ratification of the Paris Accord, and we will continue to work towards addressing the challenge of climate change.

Watch the event live on YouTube, via the UN:

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