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With the backing of the world’s largest polluters, the Paris climate agreement will enter into force on Nov. 4, the United Nations said Wednesday.
The Paris accord, under which countries agree to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, needed 55 countries totaling 55 percent of the world’s emissions to take effect.
Last month, the list of ratifying countries surpassed the needed number, though the total amount of emissions was still under the 55 percent threshold. The European Union’s ratification this week put the emissions tally over the top.
RELATED RESOURCE: See a list of the countries that have ratified the agreement.
The agreement goes into effect 30 days from meeting those goalposts, which means Nov. 4.
“We have seen extraordinary momentum from all corners of the globe to bring the Paris agreement to life this year,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after the European Union came on board.
It’s up to each nation to determine how it will harness its greenhouse gases. President Barack Obama said at a climate event at the White House this week that even with the commitments of all the signatories, “it would still not be sufficient to deal with the pace of warming that we’re seeing in the atmosphere.
“What it does do is set up for the first time the architecture, the mechanism whereby we can consistently start turning up the dials and reducing the amount of carbon pollution that we’re putting into the atmosphere,” he said.
Larisa Epatko produced multimedia web features and broadcast reports with a focus on foreign affairs for the PBS NewsHour. She has reported in places such as Jordan, Pakistan, Iraq, Haiti, Sudan, Western Sahara, Guantanamo Bay, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Turkey, Germany and Ireland.
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