WASHINGTON, March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Earth Day Network has launched a petition imploring President Obama to sign the Paris Climate Agreement this upcoming Earth Day, April 22nd. The official signing ceremony is to be held April 22nd at the UN in New York. All world leaders have been invited to the ceremony, planned by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a staunch supporter of the agreement. The Climate Agreement – created by representatives of more than 190 UN members – calls for nations to decrease their greenhouse-gas emissions and to keep the global average temperature from rising 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – the point where humanity will begin to feel the most destructive and dangerous effects of climate change.
In order for the Agreement to become binding, 55 countries – representing 55 percent of global emissions – need to sign. With less than two months until the Paris Agreement opens for signing, several countries have already pledged they will sign. However, too many countries that greatly contribute to global CO2 emissions have not. Without them, the agreement may never officially go into effect.
Two of the largest CO2 emitters are China and India. Their public statements of intent to sign would be pivotal. In 2013, China lost more than 1.6 million citizens to air pollution and India lost more than 1.4 million citizens. Conditions will only worsen if the Paris Agreement is not officially ratified, severely cutting carbon emissions. President Xi Jinping of China and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India need to publically commit themselves to signing.
"As the United States emits more greenhouse gases than every country except China, it is especially important for the U.S. to lead the way," said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. "By signing, we set an example for the rest of the world. Without the support of the U.S., it will be very hard for the Paris Agreement to succeed in cutting worldwide emissions."
"We need to prove that what happened in Paris last December was not all talk. We need to take action. Signing the Paris Agreement this Earth Day is just the beginning," Rogers said. "That, coupled with our global activities, will make this the largest, most significant Earth Day in years."
SOURCE Earth Day Network