Kerry carried his 2-year-old granddaughter Isabelle in his arms while he signed the landmark Paris agreement
Leonardo DiCaprio and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau turned up the heat at the UN as they appeared in New York for the signing of the Paris agreement on climate change.
But in the end it was John Kerry’s granddaughter that warmed hearts across the globe.
The Secretary of State carried the 2-year-old in his arms as he walked up to sign the agreement on behalf of the United States.
History may have been made today with the signing of the Paris agreement on climate change, but it was John Kerry’s granddaughter who stole the show
The Secretary of State carried the 2-year-old in his arms as he signed the landmark agreement on behalf of the United States
Isabelle Dobbs-Higginson watched with curiosity as her grandfather signed the book that would soon contain 171 names
The adorable toddler’s mother is Kerry’s oldest daughter, named Alexandra. Kerry also has a younger granddaughter named Livia
After scribbling his name, Kerry gave his granddaughter, named Isabelle Dobbs-Higginson, a sweet smooch on the cheek.
Isabelle was one of 197 children present at the event to represent the countries that had adopted the agreement, according to USA today.
‘These young people are our future,’ said UN secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. ‘Today is a day for our children and grandchildren and all generations to come.’
Kerry and Trudeau were just two of the leaders from 171 countries that congregated at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan on Earth Day to sign the landmark agreement.
The day has already set a record for international diplomacy. Never have so many countries signed an agreement on the first available day.
States that don’t sign Friday have a year to do so.
‘We are in a race against time,’ Ban Ki-moon told the gathering. ‘The era of consumption without consequences is over.’
‘The poor and most vulnerable must not suffer further from a problem they did not create.’
Many now expect the climate agreement to enter into force long before the original deadline of 2020. Some say it could happen this year.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau capped off his three-day visit in New York by signing the agreement
The political heartthrob turned up the heat in the room as he pledged to help save the world from becoming a hotter place
The agreement will enter into force once 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions have formally joined it. Maros Sefcovic, the energy chief for another top emitter, the 28-nation European Union, has said the EU wants to be in the ‘first wave’ of ratifying countries.
French President Francois Hollande, the first to sign the agreement, said Friday he will ask parliament to ratify it by this summer. France’s environment minister is in charge of global climate negotiations.
‘There is no turning back now,’ Hollande told the gathering.
Trudeau also announced that his country would ratify the agreement this year.
Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio, who also serves as the UN Messenger of Peace, addressed the crowd at the ceremony on Friday
The Academy Award winner’s history of fighting for climate change and the environment is almost as long as the list of models he’s dated
Countries that had not yet indicated they would sign the agreement Friday include some of the world’s largest oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Nigeria and Kazakhstan, the World Resources Institute said Thursday.
The Paris Agreement, the world’s response to hotter temperatures, rising seas and other impacts of climate change, was reached in December as a major breakthrough in UN climate negotiations, which for years were slowed by disputes between rich and poor countries over who should do what.
Under the agreement, countries set their own targets for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The targets are not legally binding, but countries must update them every five years.
But DiCaprio, who was designated a UN Messenger of the Peace in 2014, called on the countries to do more than they have agreed upon.
‘We can congratulate each other today, but it will mean absolutely nothing if you return to your countries and push beyond the promises of this historic agreement,’ he said during a speech at the headquarters on Friday.
‘Now is the time for bold, unprecedented action. My friends, look at the delegates around you, it is time to ask each other, which side of history will you be on?’
If the words of an Academy Award winner and global heartthrob aren’t enough to put fear in the delegates’ hearts, science might.
Last year was the hottest on record and average temperatures have already climbed by almost 1 degree Celsius.
Scientific analyses show the initial set of targets that countries pledged before Paris don’t match the agreement’s long-term goal to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius compared with per-industrial times