Sign It For Climate

UN’s Paris Climate Accord officially ratified; will commence Nov. 4

While concrete emissions regulations in the United States are moving at a snail’s pace, the global movement is nearing a checkpoint. On Wednesday, the threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved, when the number of committed nations reached 55. Now, 74 parties (representing almost 59% of global emissions, per the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website) have ratified the UN’s Paris accord, and it will officially go into effect on November 4th.

The 55 benchmark was key because to come into force, the agreement required 55 nations to ratify, representing 55% of global emissions.

The United States and China signed off last month. This week’s key additions to push past the threshold were from the European Union and 10 other countries, who deposited their ratification documents. The Paris climate accord, signed by almost 200 nations last year, aims to keep the impact of climate change below 2 degrees Celsius.

climate-agreement

The United States has one of the most daunting tasks of any country, facing a 26% reduction by 2025. The ratification, along with other climate actions being taken in the United States, are helping set the direction electric utilities are taking in meeting customer needs with cleaner energy.

The European Union ratified the agreement earlier this week, representing 12% of global emissions. Following that decision, 10 other countries ratified and pushed the global compact past required supports. Those nations included Austria, Bolivia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Malta, Nepal, Portugal and Slovakia.

Power plants produce the largest share of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions, about 30% of air pollution in 2015. The deal is expected to give investors an indication of where they should invest in a decarbonizing world.

International companies’ recent maneuvers reflect the changing landscape. GE recently announced more than $800 million in new orders across the Asia-Pacific region that it says will be earmarked for efficient and sustainable solutions for the digital transformation of electricity. GE’s current Asia Pacific gas turbine fleet consists of more than 1,000 units across 15 countries, comprising the largest gas turbine portfolio in the region. These new orders include the first heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) technology project. Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power, indicated the importance of complying with the incoming standards and goals: “In a post-COP21 world, GE is able to provide its latest digital industrial solutions to help increase efficiencies, reduce environmental impacts and lower costs for our customers and EPC partners.”

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