The Paris climate accord, negotiated in the French capital just weeks after the terrorist attack there in November, was signed April 22 to coincide with Earth Day, reports USA Today.
World leaders representing 175 countries were present for the signing, along with 197 children, including John Kerry’s granddaughter, whom he held as he signed the agreement for the U.S.
"We are in a race against time." U.N. secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the gathering at the United Nations headquarters in New York. "The era of consumption without consequences is over."
"The poor and most vulnerable must not suffer further from a problem they did not create," Ban added.
… The deal sets a target of limiting global warming by 2100 to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F), as compared to pre-industrial levels. To accomplish that, each nation sets its own target for reducing emissions and updates that mark each year.
The signing however, is only one step in formalizing the agreement. The accord will not actually go into effect until at least 55 countries that represent 55 percent of global emissions have the accord approved by their home governments.