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Climate news – May 2017

2017: a new record year for global warming?

The first quarter of the year in progress was the second warmest ever recorded since the pre-industrial era. The temperatures recorded since the beginning of the year nearly reached the records of the first three months of 2016 – to within 2/10th of a degree Celsius. 2016 was the warmest year ever recorded, just ahead of 2015. See the article in  Monde, 9 May (in French) to know more.


Annual world CO2 emissions in billions of tons (stagnation since 2014).


Atmospheric concentration of CO2, in parts per million (ppm). A level never reached since the Pliocene period 2 million years ago.


States that have ratified the Paris Agreement

Meeting of 196 countries at Bonn to discuss the modalities of application of the Paris Agreement

To date, the Paris Agreement has been ratified by 144 countries although the position of the United States remains uncertain.

The purpose of the conference held from 8 to 18 May in Bonn was to prepare the COP23 in view to creating a climate of transparency and mutual trust between governments. However, the United States is standing aloof from the multilateral process, asserting that it is giving priority “to the economic growth of the United States and to jobs for American workers” and that it does not support “policies or regulations whose effects could harm the energy independence and the competitiveness of the United States”.

Although President Donald Trump is to speak again on the Paris Agreement, a positive signal was sent on 12 May with the signature, by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, of the Fairbanks declaration. This traditionally concludes the Arctic Council and places the United States alongside nations that are calling for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Furthermore, the COP23, chaired by the Fiji Islands, which are threatened by rising ocean levels, will be held in Bonn from 6 to 17 November 2017.

China (the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases ahead of the United States) renewed its commitment to defend the Agreement on the occasion of the election of Emmanuel Macron as President of the French Republic.

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