Tags: Global Warming | UN | Paris Climate Agreement | Votes

UN Urges Speedy Votes on Paris Climate Agreement as Countries Back Out

Image: UN Urges Speedy Votes on Paris Climate Agreement as Countries Back Out
Philippines President Rodrigo Dutert. (AP Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 20 Jul 2016 03:03 PM

The United Nations is moving to fast-track ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement as some countries begin to withdraw support of the far-reaching restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is calling for nations to meet for a "special event" Thursday so members can submit their "instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change," The Washington Times reports.

"I urge you to accelerate your country's domestic process for ratification of the agreement this year," Ban said in a statement.

The agreement was adopted by 195 member states of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015.

Recently elected Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte was particularly vehement in his refusal to ratify the accord, saying he "will not honor" the restrictions on emissions, calling them "stupid" and going against the greater economic development and industrialization that his country needs.

Developed countries "were enjoying the booming [economy] and flooding the air with contaminants. Now that they are rich because of coal and industrialization, we are being asked to cut emission and limit our activities," Mr. Duterte told The Philippine Star.

Meanwhile, former Ireland President Mary Robinson, now a UN special envoy on climate change, slammed the UK and Germany for backtracking on the Paris agreement.

"They've [the British government] introduced new tax breaks for oil and gas in 2015 that will cost the UK taxpayer billions between 2015 and 2020, and at the same time they've cut support for renewables and for energy efficiency," Robinson told The Guardian.

This moves comes on the heels of newly appointed Conservative UK Prime Minister Theresa May's abolishment of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, a move widely seen as irresponsible.

"This damning indictment of the UK's energy policy comes just days after our new prime minister scrapped the Department of Energy and Climate Change and appointed an environment secretary who has consistently voted against measures to tackle climate change," said Natalie Bennett, leader of the country's Green party.

"I urge Theresa May to listen carefully to Robinson's remarks and start reversing the damaging policies put in place by her predecessor — like giving tax breaks to fossil fuel companies while cutting subsidies for renewables."

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The United Nations is moving to fast-track ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement as some countries begin to withdraw support of the far-reaching restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.
UN, Paris Climate Agreement, Votes
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2016-03-20
Wednesday, 20 Jul 2016 03:03 PM
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