The Paris climate agreement, is set to become law after 31 nations signed up to the landmark accord at a ceremony at the UN in New York today.

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The 31 countries, which include Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates, bring the total to have signed up to the agreement to 60 – representing 47.5% of global emissions. 13 other nations today committed to doing so this year.

The Paris Treaty was a commitment made last December by almost 200 countries to keep global temperature increase “well below” 2C and to try to limit them to 1.5C.

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon said today’s action meant the climate deal will be fully ratified by the end of the year. “I’m ever more confident that the Paris agreement will enter into force this year,” Ban (pictured) said.

A total of 55 countries responsible for 55% of global emissions must ratify the Paris Agreement for it come into force. The first threshold has now been reached. With 13 other countries signalling their intent at the ceremony, the second threshold is expected to be reached before or during the next major climate negotiations in Marrakesh this November, experts say.

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and member of the Corporate Leaders Group, welcomed today’s news: “The upcoming entry into force of the Paris Agreement is the important signal that businesses have been waiting for. With this clear direction of travel from political leaders, companies can now accelerate efforts to achieve a zero carbon future.”

Today’s events follow the UK PM’s commitment yesterday to ensure the UK ratifies the Paris Agreement before the end of the year.  

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