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Paris climate agreement now international law

Landmark agreement now international law, but implementation is critical, IEA says.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Now that the Paris climate deal is international law, it's time for the real work to begin, the director of the International Energy Agency said. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Now that the Paris climate deal is international law, it's time for the real work to begin, the director of the International Energy Agency said. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

PARIS, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Even though the Paris climate agreement is formally in force, implementing the terms of the arrangement will take work, the International Energy Agency said.

The landmark climate agreement became international law Friday as just over two third of the world's polluting nations join a plan aiming to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Under the arrangement, some nations would help others with addressing climate change, though the World Meteorological Organization said that, in the 15 years since 1990, there was a 37 percent increase in the warming impact on the climate because of the atmospheric influence of greenhouse gases like CO2, methane and nitrous oxide.

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Fatih Birol, the IEA's executive director, applauded the progress on the climate change measure, but said implementing the terms of the measure will require a significant amount of work.

"Let's not underestimate the task ahead," he said in a statement. "Limiting carbon emissions and changing our energy systems is a monumental challenge."

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For a global economy moving toward a low-carbon future, the IEA said it expected the share of renewable energy to increase 13 percent more over the six-year period ending in 2021 than its estimate last year.

Adnan Amin, the director-general for the International Renewable Energy Agency, said the entry into force for the Paris agreement came faster than expected.

"But this is only the beginning," he said. "Turning commitments into action must start now so that history will view this moment as a watershed for the global energy transition; the moment we rolled up our sleeves and decided to get the job done."

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The U.N. Environment Program cautioned that, even if all the commitments under the Paris agreement materialize, emissions levels by 2030 could still potentially lead to a global average temperature increase of more than the target outlined by parties to the deal.

Global economies continue to rely on fossil fuels despite the increased use in renewable energy resources. From the oil and gas industry, a consortium of 10 companies announced plans to invest $1 billion over the next 10 years in low-emission strategies.

"We are personally committed to ensuring that by working with others our companies play a key role in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, while still providing the energy the world needs," the companies said.

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