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significance of the Paris Agreement is that it was able to harness a consensus of 194 countries, including the two biggest emitters China and U.S., to curb carbon emissions with an aim to keep the increase in global temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, a level that if exceeded would lead to an "urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet".Earth Day, April 22, 2016 – the official launching of the window to sign onto the agreement – saw enough countries sign up to meet the double demand of 55 parties representing at least 55 percent of global emissions for it to go into effect. To date, 194 parties have signed the agreement and 147 have ratified it, representing 66 percent of global emissions if we are to exclude the U.S.However, notice to withdraw must be given three years after the agreement takes effect – hence three years after Nov. 4, 2016 – and requires a year to realize this withdrawal. Thus the U.S.' withdrawal will effectively occur in November 2020 coinciding with that of the country's presidential elections.
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