World leaders agreed things must change on climate change - now they must follow words with action
Environmental campaigners have welcomed the Paris climate agreement officially coming into force.
The deal, ratified last December, saw 195 nations agree committing to what they can to hold global temperature rises to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels – with a goal of 1.5°C set.
It set the global legislative framework for countries to increase efforts in tackling climate change. and came into effect on Friday (4 November).
When world leaders arrive in Marrakech for the annual UN Climate Summit on the 7 November, it is hoped they will take the opportunity to harness the political will and momentum generated by the Paris Agreement and turn promises into action.
Climate change is happening now and is already seriously affecting the lives of people who have done least to cause it
Tom Ballantine, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, said: “Scotland has the opportunity deliver on the momentum from Paris with ambitious action in our Climate Change Plan and strong targets in a new climate bill.
“Climate change is happening now and is already seriously affecting the lives of people who have done least to cause it.
“We have recently witnessed the devastation that droughts in East Africa and Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean have caused.
“Erratic and extreme weather patterns will increase unless decisive action is taken very quickly to limit global warming. In particular, urgent action is needed to keep warming below 1.5 degrees and to protect the most vulnerable people from ever more devastating impacts of climate change”.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham welcomed this significant development which allows implementation to be taken forward, she said: “Today is a landmark day in the global fight against climate change.
“The first legally binding agreement is now in force, which aims to hold global temperature rise this century to well below two degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit the rise even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“This is a significant step forward for collective global effort to tackle climate change and help protect our environment and planet for future generations.
"The Scottish Government will continue to progress our world leading low carbon ambitions which saw us exceed our 2020 emissions reductions target six years early.
“I look forward to attending the next UN climate change conference in Marrakech later this month where work on implementing the Paris Agreement can now begin and I will set out our proposals for our domestic climate change plan to Parliament in January.”