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Paris Agreement

John Kerry's grand-daughter stole the show at the UN today

She was helping her granddad sign a climate agreement.

UN Climate Change Mark Lennihan Mark Lennihan

US SECRETARY OF State John Kerry brought his granddaughter to work today as he joined senior world officials to formally sign the Paris climate deal at the United Nations.

Washington’s top diplomat came to the podium cradling two-year-old Isabelle Dobbs-Higginson and triggered warm applause as he endorsed the accord for the United States.

Earlier, Kerry had addressed the General Assembly to hail the agreement, which he said was the last chance to slow the devastating pace of human-generated climate change.

“We learned that 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history –- by far,” Kerry said, recalling last December’s Paris summit where the agreement was finalised.

UN Climate Change Mary Altaffer Mary Altaffer

“And we learned that after knowing that the past decade was the hottest on record, and the one before that was the hottest on record,” he continued.

“So the urgency of this challenge is only becoming more pronounced,” he said, in a warning to those building the world his granddaughter will grow up in.

Ireland

Ireland’s Environment Minister Alan Kelly was in New York to sign the deal.

Ireland, through the European Union, indicated its commitment through the Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels.

Discussions on the respective responsibilities of individual member states to meet this commitment are under way.

However, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said the country’s signing of the deal was proof the political system is “fixated on short-term gain”.

“If Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Independents want to show some vision and responsibility then they have to stop arguing about the little things and start stitching some real climate ambition into their negotiations. That means tripling the budget for retrofitting our houses. That means a fivefold increase in spending on sustainable transport systems.

“That means going fossil free as fast as we possibly can in our entire energy system.

“Are they up to the challenge or is the signing of the Paris agreement just a distraction from the little deals being done down in Trinity College?”

With AFP reporting

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