The Paris climate deal reached in December, and which will be signed by dozens of nations next week, could potentially be set in motion earlier than anticipated. Remarks this week from Christiana Figueres, the United Nations’ climate chief, hint at the agreement swinging into action in 2018, two years ahead of the targeted deadline.
On April 22, at least 130 countries’ leaders are expected to gather in New York to sign the agreement. (Last month, the U.S. and China became two of the biggest entities to pledge their signatures, despite obstacles at home.)
The agreement will green light action to globally cut carbon emissions, switch to clean energy, and implement infrastructure that will set the stage for lowering greenhouse gasses and keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.
Although, the Christian Science Monitor quotes Figueres as saying “We are two minutes to midnight on climate change. If you ask me, the Paris agreement is 10 years too late.”
When it comes to policy progress, global governments are not known for being speedy, let alone ahead of schedule. So this potential for setting the deal in motion two years early is great news. After all, work to implement sustainable solutions for the growing human population cannot come at a more needed time. As Dr. Heriberto Cabezas explained at the Blouin Creative Leadership Summit in 2015, the systems we put in place to ensure sustainability do not have to be radical, but they have to happen. Progress with certain technologies such as solar and wind energy is promising. Hopefully getting a jump start on cutting carbon emissions with the Paris plans is truly in the works.