Kerry celebrates signing of Paris climate deal

Kerry celebrates signing of Paris climate deal
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Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryJohn Kerry: Trump 'surrendered lock, stock and barrel' to Putin's deceptions Get ready for summit with no agenda and calculated risks Will Democrats realize that Americans are tired of war? MORE celebrated the signing of the Paris climate agreement on Friday, telling United Nations delegates it should sharpen the world’s focus on fighting climate change. 

“Today is a day to mark and to celebrate the hard work done by so many to win the battle of securing the Paris agreement,” Kerry said at U.N. headquarters in New York. “But knowing what we know, this is also a day to recommit ourselves to actually win this war.”

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Kerry called the deal “powerful,” but said it alone won’t keep the Earth from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius, the underlying goal of climate negotiators. 

“The power of this agreement is the opportunity it creates, the power is the message it sends to the marketplace,” he said. 

“The power of this agreement is what it is going to to do to unleash the private sector, and what it IS already doing to set the global economy on a new path toward smart, sustainable development.”

Officials from more than 170 countries gathered in New York to sign the climate deal on Friday, Earth Day. The deal, reached in Paris in December, represents the first time the the international community has agreed to reduce its greenhouse gases to confront climate change. 

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the number of countries signing the deal Friday was a record for the U.N. 

“We are breaking records in this chamber and that is good news, but records are also being broken outside: record high global temperatures, record high ice loss, record high carbon levels in the atmosphere,” he said. 

“We are in a race against time and I urge countries to move quickly to join the agreement at the national level so the Paris agreement can take affect as quickly as possible.”

Signing the deal means nations intend to eventually “join” the pact and execute its terms. Once 55 countries producing at least 55 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions join the deal, it will take effect.

Fifteen nations will formally join the deal on Friday. United States officials, the State Department said this week, are still working on the internal documents necessary to join, something they intend to do this year.