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December 12, 2015

Czech minister vows to sign Paris climate agreement

Agreement was reached among 196 countries on cutting emissions

Paris, Dec 12 (ČTK) — The Czech parliament will ratify and President Miloš Zeman sign the climate agreement approved in Paris today, Environment Minister Richard Brabec told Czech Television immediately after the decision was made at the United Nations conference.

“The agreement will take effect at the moment it will be ratified by 55 countries with the minimum proportion of 55 percent of global emissions,” Brabec said.

The ratification process is supposed to start next April and to last 12 months.

If the conditions of the ratification are fulfilled, the pact is to replace the Kyoto Protocol by 2020.

Brabec said it was right that many politicians had been using the word “historical.”

“It is a tremendous first step. The world is realizing its responsibility,” he added.

Instead of a minor part of the global countries claiming the Kyoto Protocol, now the whole world is claiming the Paris agreement, Brabec said.

“We have one of the few, perhaps the last chance to influence something really before the spiral is set in motion that the mankind will be unable to influence,” Brabec said.

He said he hoped those in the Czech Republic who were considering the problem an affair of islands or polar areas would understand this.

“At present, it is obvious from the droughts, floods and climate extremes that this relates to the Czech Republic, too. We, too, shoulder the responsibility for the state in which we will pass the planet on,” Brabec said.

This is a historical moment, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, ČSSD) said.

It is necessary to prevent changes in climate from affecting the lives of future generations, Sobotka said after the agreement was passed.

He said the new agreement did not reflect the Czech Republic’s original idea in all of its respects.

This is exemplified by the readiness of the contractual parties in the sphere of reduction of carbon dioxide, he added.

“However, it is important that the historical compromise was reached as it is an encouraging sign of the readiness of the international community to act when facing great challenges,” Sobotka said.

In the Paris agreement, the countries pledged to keep the global warming under two degrees as against the preindustrial time by the end of the century and to approach the value of half a degree less as much as possible.

Representatives of 196 countries approved the text presuming that by the mid-2050s, a balance between the greenhouse gases and their absorption by nature would be achieved.

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