People, Environment

World Leaders to Sign Pledge to Curb Global Warming

World Leaders to Sign Pledge to Curb Global Warming  World Leaders to Sign Pledge to Curb Global Warming

World leaders representing more than 100 countries are set to convene in New York on April 22 to sign the historic Paris Agreement in a move that could potentially stave off what scientists have called calamitous consequences as a result of global warming.

Among those who will sign the pledge are US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, whose countries are the top two emitters of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that is largely blamed for the planet’s rising temperature.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to sign the pledge, international media reported.

Almost 200 countries agreed in December in Paris to adopt domestic plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. They also set a common goal to limit the rise in global average temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The UN-backed agreement arrived after two decades of negotiations that failed to result in firm commitments.

Critics argue that the Paris deal will not go far enough to curb the world’s rapidly rising emissions or prevent catastrophic levels of global warming unless countries commit to deeper reductions, according to the International Business Times.

The US and China for years were partly to blame for the lack of progress at UN climate talks. Both countries resisted international pressure to set limits on their emissions, arguing that such a move could jeopardize economic growth.

The Obama administration was reluctant to set aggressive targets unless major competing economies such as China did the same. China and other emerging economies such as India argued that the richest nations, which have historically spewed the most carbon pollution, should first commit to stricter standards.