Ireland among 160 countries expected to sign climate change deal

Ireland among 160 countries expected to sign climate change deal

Ireland is among 160 countries expected to sign up to the world's first comprehensive deal to tackle climate change at a ceremony in New York later..

The Paris Agreement to curb rising temperatures and avoid "dangerous" climate change was secured at United Nations talks in the French capital in December.

At least 55 countries covering 55% of the world's emissions need to ratify the deal for it to come into force.

The Paris Agreement sets a target to keep temperature rises "well below" 2C and commits to strive to curb increases to 1.5C, as well as a five-year review system to increase ambition on cutting emissions to meet the temperature goals.

As the deal spells out the need for greenhouse gases to peak as soon as possible, and sets aims for the second half of the century that effectively mean the world will have to reach net zero emissions, it has been seen as signalling the end of the fossil fuel era.

Chief Executive Officer of the Global CCS Institute Brad Page has called for urgent action to address carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through proven carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

"In order to meet these demanding climate targets in the real world, we've got to reduce emissions from every possible sector of the global economy, and we've got to do it urgently and without bias," said Mr Page.

"All low carbon technologies must be part of the conversation -- including renewables, nuclear power, energy efficiency, and CCS.

"Achieving these ambitious targets will require many acts of political courage over the next three decades, and an unwavering commitment to deep international collaboration on technological advancement, policy design, and funding.

"Globally, more than 2,400 new coal-fired power stations are already planned for construction by the year 2030. This says nothing of the hundreds of existing facilities that will still be in operation for the coming decades ahead. CCS is vital to limiting the emissions that are effectively already locked in by these facilities.

Under the deal the rise in global temperatures is limited to well below 2C.

The changes are due to commence in 2020 but could begin as early as the end of this year.

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